Friday, 24 April 2009

Lino cuts and rain drops

Have been playing with tiny lino offcuts, and occasionally cutting myself - ouch. But otherwise fun. Am also remembering that lino's not that easy to cut and that I need to get myself some rubber stamp-making supplies (much easier to cut, apparently, and so there'd be less of the pain and more of the fun).

Also working on another idea that involves rain drops. These are digitally coloured from an ink drawing, but is this the rain I want? Not sure yet.

Oh, and v. excited that the goods purchased on my latest trip to the hardware store have turned into wall shelves! I've been painting and drilling for the last few days and now I've got some shelves to store my wares, which makes me a little too happy.

Happy weekend :)

 ***UPDATE - APRIL 2011*** 
It's a long time coming, but my new raindrops fabric is now available on Etsy in two colours - burnt pink and blue!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Michi Me!

Look-see - my 'T' Towel's on the Michi Girl weather page today! Thanks Michi :)

And thanks to Julia at Studio Home Creative for a nice little write-up last week. So many lovely things on her blog - I've had my eye on a Mingus Designs bag for quite a while, and how sweet is Vanilla Bug?

Thursday, 16 April 2009


It surely is getting cold and for me at the moment that means lots of hand-warming cups of tea and a bit of drawing, along with quick trips outside to catch up on some dwindling sun. It's amazing how quickly a day goes by when you've got these three things to do.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Work in Progress

Today I finally got to begin work on something I've wanted to make for aaages - a quilt. And because I've never made one before, I decided to start small - a baby quilt! Crazily I thought I could start and finish it in one sitting, which didn't happen, but I'm pretty sure it's more than halfway done. I'm also sure it looks better in real life that it does in this picture.

I spent most of the time picking the fabric combinations and then measuring and stitching, followed by some more measuring and more stitching. And so far so good. Now I've just got to do the actual quilting part (which will be free form and random and hopefully won't look crap) and then stitch on the edges and back.

In other news, I've finally started the 4-step task that is sealing the concrete floor in the studio. No more concrete dust (soon) - yay! Of course that also means everything's out of action, due to being piled up in the corner while I work my way around the floor. The studio looks all sad and empty again - perhaps soon I'll be able to get a rug or something to warm up that cold floor (and not have it end up coated in white concrete dust - ick.)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Hot X

My freshly baked Hot Cross Buns, with chocolate instead of fruit.

After reading the Epicure article this week which compares some of the buns you can buy in Melbourne, I've been inspired to bake some myself (homemade ones taste sooo good! Often better than bought ones, I say, although Babka's are pretty fine).

And the best recipe I've found so far? The one that came with our bread-making machine, believe it or not. I'm sure you can use the recipe without a bread machine - just compare a non-machine hot cross bun recipe (such as Delia's, which I've blogged about before) and adapt as necessary. Of course, you only use the machine to mix the dough and do the initial rising - else you'd end up with a hot cross loaf, which might be a bit odd.

Hot Cross Buns. (Recipe courtesy of Breville)
340ml water
2 Tbsp oil

2 tsp salt

3 Tbsp brown sugar

600g bread flour
3 Tbsp milk powder

1 Tbsp ground mixed spice

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
2 & 1/4 tsp dried yeast

Add later on.

190g sultanas

40g peel/chopped apricots/whatever else you want


230g chopped bittersweet chocolate (if you're feeling that way inclined)

Cross Mix.
110g plain flour
approx 3 Tbsp water

Spicy Glaze.
1/2 cup sifted icing sugar
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp hot water

Sugar Glaze.
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp boiling water

If you're using a bread machine.
1. Put all ingredients in the first section (ie: up to yeast) into the pan, in the exact order. Set the machine to "dough" and when the machine beeps (well, that's what mine does!) add the fruit/chocolate - the beeping happens near the end of the cycle, before a final mix and rising session.

2. Once the dough cycle is finished, divide into about 18 pieces and shape into rounds. Place close together on greased baking trays.

3. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave to stand in a warm area for 20 minutes or until doubled in size (I sometimes put mine in the oven on a really low setting, 20-40 degrees Celsius).

4. To make the crosses - mix together the ingredients for the cross mix (above). Roll out thinly and divide into strips. Once the buns have risen (end of step 3) use water to affix the strips to the buns in the shape of a cross.

Bake in a preheated oven 190 degrees Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

6. Slide buns onto a wire rack to cool. If you want to make them look glossy and taste even sweeter, brush the hot buns with a glaze (two are listed above). To make the glazes, mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and add the hot water to combine. Brush over the buns when they are still hot.

7. Stand for 15 minutes to cool before serving.

8. Eat your delicious buns!

If you're not using a bread machine.
Perhaps use
Delia's recipe - it might be easier! Or if you're feeling adventurous, use the recipe above (or adapt your own version) and follow Delia re: order to add ingredients, when to rise etc, and hope for the best. Hers is pretty good, but you don't have to be as pedantic as she is (it gets a bit annoying and life's too short).

More garden love

Have I not been paying attention to my street - where did this little pop-up garden come from? Sure, I'd noticed others around the neighbourhood but not this one. How exciting! (especially when you don't have a backyard.) Might have to drop in some herb seeds and see what happens.

And this is the window of the local book shop - how great is that book cover (and the inside is even better - congratulations Pip!)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


It definitely feels like the seasons have switched over - last week it was warm and sunny, this week you need gloves and umbrellas. It's also time for cosy eating & drinking, knitting, jackets & gumboots and leaf collecting & puddle jumping, all of which I've been doing lately.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Scary good

A little while back the lovely Jenny from This Humble Abode asked if I'd answer a handful of questions - interview style - for her blog. It's a scary prospect, writing about yourself like that, and it took a while, but I got there in the end. And now it's been published - my first interview. Thanks so much Jenny :)

Friday, 3 April 2009

How does your coffee grow?

When I got to the studio the other day I was rather impressed to see that we had a garden - wow! Now the coffee plants have a home and look rather happy. Thanks Jem and Laura :)

I also discovered the "self raising department" at the flour mill around the corner.

And this was the sky yesterday evening - lovely and blue and the temperature was very mild. Now it's pouring with rain and there's flash flood warnings. I love you Melbourne.

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