Saturday, August 13, 2011

I bought the fabric for Aurelie's tattered dress at my secret source in Perigord. This particular brocante is my favorite place to be, although I must admit I am a little intimidated by the proprietress. She is an incredible character, always immaculately turned out - hair in a chignon, jewels around her neck and dangling from her ears, faux fur coats, long sweeping skirts and dainty little ballet shoes. I wouldn't like to hazzard a guess at her age, but let's just say the bottle of rose wine sitting on the side and the ever presence of a cigarette between her fingers seem to be keeping her going! I'm utterly facinated with her and wish my French was good enough to converse with her properly. We do talk, but there are so many questions I want to ask her that alas, will always remain a mystery. Perhaps it's better that way.
So, when I ironed this fabric, all the amazing scents from Madame's brocante rose up, transporting me straight back to my favorite place on earth and leaving me with a bit of a lump in my throat. I can smell the cigarette smoke, the wine, the chocolate truffles she offers us whenever we visit. I remember her feeding the ducklings in the river opposite her shop posh biscuits, crushing them, (the biscuits! Not the ducklings), under her ballet slipper.
So, here is Aurelie, a little hommage to Nadine. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Well, here's another budget recipe!

Beef Hot Hot Hot Pot


Stewing Steak
Floury Spuds, (I used desiree)
Brown Onion
Frozen Peas
Green Lentils
Horseradish Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Black Pepper
Beef Stock Cube


Coat your beef chunks in the horseradish sauce then dip them in flour, then brown off in a pan.
Cover the bottom of your casserole dish in lentils.
Add the beef, chopped onion, chopped garlic, frozen peas.
Make a stock using the stock cube, a seriously good glug of worcestershire sauce, a spoon of flour, loads of ground black pepper and a couple more dollops of horsereadish sauce for good measure.
Cover the contents of the casserole.
Slice the potatoes into rounds and arrange over the top to make a pretty lid. Sprinkle with more worcestershire sauce and rock salt.
Put the lid on and stick in the oven at 150-160C for a couple of hours.
Serve with crusty bread.

Also in the news, some new creatures in the SHOP

I can't believe that I've only been open a few weeks and have already sold three dolls! It makes me so happy tht people like what I make and are prepared to part with thier hard earned cash in order to own something I sewed.
There is also some potentially exciting news regarding my mice, I'll tell more when I know more!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Erica cannot make meringue... save her life. I tried again yesterday, and they ended up in the bin.
So, what to do with a bowl full of egg yolks.....
Raspberry and vanilla custard tartlets, that's what!

I've never made anything like this before, so I completely cheated and bought the cases from the supermarket, (the less that could go wrong, the better).
After a quick call to chef, (mother), I had a quick and easy recipe. So if you have some cream, some raspberries going off in the fridge and a few eggs, indulge yourself!


Packet of tartlet bases, (or make your own if you're reeeeeally clever)
1 pint of single cream
2 ounces of caster sugar
3 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
A little vanilla essence to taste
A pinch of grated nutmeg to taste
Raspberries (or any yummy berry would do...cor, blackberries would be nice)
Red gelatine sachet mix.


Pre heat your oven to 150 C.
Warm the cream in a pan on a low heat, being careful not to let it bubble or curdle.
Mix all the eggs and the sugar in a bowl gently, then add the vanilla and nutmeg.
When the cream is warm, pour into the bowl of egg mixture and gently whisk.
Ladle the mixture into the tart cases straight away and pop in the oven until they start to rise up a little, (about half an hour or so).
Meanwhile, make up your gelatine mix.
Take out and leave to cool.
Decorate as you please and add the gel mix when it's still runny then leave to cool and set.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Wait

I'm currently waiting for news...and have been for weeks....
Now, it's not as though I'm waiting for anything horrid, so I shouldn't moan, but nevertheless, I'm just hanging...and hanging....and hanging....
I've got lots of little projects, picture book ideas/dummies/young fiction texts/mail shots to magazines all fluttering about in the big wide world of publishing and am just waiting for one bite...just one would do...just to settle me a little.
And it's not like I have nothing to do in the meantime either! I have lots of work to do for the Candy Fairies series and there's always tea parties and picnics with Sienna to keep me busy.
But still, I really don't like not knowing, so please, publishing fairies of London, please send me some news one way or the other soon....
Below is a little sneak peek from a picture book I'm working on today....and below that, a new dolly available in the shop This dolly has found a home :0)