Thursday, July 26, 2012

Another little wander...alone.

Inspired by the wonderful Kazzy at Country Rabbit I decided to take myself off on my own for a walk. I'm terrible for making excuses as to why I can't wander about the countryside on my own - What if I get trampled by cows? What if a madster jumps out of the bushes and attacks me? What if I get lost? Or, worst of all, what if I were to be pixie led!? I've not heard any rumours of the latter ever happening in Northamptonshire, so after I'd finished my painting for the day, bathed the baby and fed the husband, I took myself off across the fields.
I didn't venture too far, only walking for a half hour or so before heading back. I took the long way home. One day I'd love to live in cottage like this
or this...
But wherever I live I come home to this...
well, maybe not a box of chocolates every night!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Salad Days

Eventually, some warm light. A little break form the greyness. I'm not particularly a summer person, I always cover up my arms and legs even on the warmest days, but I love the LIGHT! And I'm blessed with a house that has tall windows and lots of them! My favourite time of the day is when I close the curtains to block out the strong evening sun and am pottering around preparing the dinner. And the menu changes with the climate, as I'm sure it does in everyones home. Out come the salads. Tonight we're having french bean, canellenni bean and walnut salad...
and...tomato and basil,
with chicken thighs wrapped in this...
I'm a complete sucker for anything that has the words 'black forest' written on it, (including gateau). All the while I was being watched by a gaggle of girls sat upon my dresser. I'm sure there was some gossip I was missing...
Probably something about Johnny Depp or perhaps how I need my hair cut. I'm sure they help themselves to the tea and antique French teacups at night while we are all sleeping. But I don't mind. I hope that the sun is shining down on wherever you are today. I'm busy designing the Christmas stock for my shop! That feels VERY strange in the middle of July.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Birthday Walk

After supper this evening we went on an adventure! It wasn't raining, but it wasn't sunny either, it was just perfect. We wandered through buttercups and thistles and clover until it was time to come home for baths, story time and bed.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Cartes Postales

These will be in the shop just as soon as they arrive from the printers!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Goodnight Stories

Yesterday, a little note from the postman plopped through the letter box informing me that there was a big parcel waiting for me at the post office. This sort of thing is quite exciting. I live a fairly quiet life.

So, this morning, as the rain clouds departed revealing a beautiful sunny and warm day, I trotted along to pick it up!

I wasn't disappointed. It was another box of books, this time a treasury of Goodnight Stories, published by Parragon in Bath.

While I was there, I posted some of the Ottoline Dollies from the SHOP off to their new homes. I get a little sentimental saying goodbye to them as I spend such lovely long hours in the evenings stitching them together and bringing them to life. But I'm happy to know that they are going off on new adventures and will be loved just as much in their new homes.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Studio

Here are a few shots of my studio. It's still not perfect or exactly how I'd like it, but it's such a luxury to have a dedicated work room! No more dodging Sienna's baked bean flicking escapades whilst trying to meet that deadline...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Join the tea party

I've added a couple of bits and bobs to the shop, so pop over and have a peek around.

Step through the creaky old door HERE

I'm thinking of adding some postcard packs to the shop too...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Books, books and more books!

Look what arrived on the post the other day! I was working on this project waaaay back when we lived in our old house and it is to be published next month!

It features lots of lovely illustrators and I was really flattered to make the front cover!

You can pre order it HERE , it will be published early August.

Here's a sneak peek inside....

Friday, July 6, 2012

Something special

I've been squirrelling away this evening conjuring up some new product ideas for the shop. I'm so, so excited about creating something new now I have a little more time. Ottoline de Triste is just my favourite girl ever. 

This next shop update will be themed around a tea party that takes place in the woods with a group of black rabbits that Ottoline has used her taxidermy skills to bring back to life.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Black Rabbits

There might be some little black, shadowy creatures entering the shop very soon....

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pretty labels

I stayed up way past my bed time last night designing these labels for my new dollies. I hope you like x

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Posh Nosh!

A little while ago, when I was strapped for time with deadlines but had a good oven, I prepared this meal as a special treat for Mr Nick and I. I liked it so much I gave it a name. It's called, her hum, don't laugh - 'Fairytale on a Plate'. The reason being it's full of earthy, woodland flavours and of course those beautiful fairy mushrooms steal the show! It's not a cheap dish, nor is it a great idea if you are trying to fit back into those size ten jeans you've kept in the back of the wardrobe 'just in case you fit back into them one day'. You'll need - Duck breasts. A celeriac. Chestnuts or walnuts. Mushrooms. Puy lentils. Shallots. A carrot. Garlic. Potatoes. Stock. I made the lentils by chopping up shallots, carrots and chestnuts and gently frying for a minute or two, then adding the lentils, then adding the stock and cooking until tender. (About 40 mins) The celeriac I just roasted in the oven until softened, then pureed it. The potatoes are cooked as fondant potatoes The duck I pan fried on a high heat for a couple of minutes then transferred to the oven for about 8-10 minutes. (Depends how you like your duck!) The mushrooms I just quickly flash fried with a little cider vinegar and butter. All in all, it was very yummy! My current oven is a little limited in that it seems to be either "WHAM, I"M COOKING YOU NOW!!!", or "Uh, you want that food warming up, do you?". Same with the hob...

Monday, July 2, 2012

They say...

that red and green should never be seen. But don't they look pretty together?
An after breakfast walk through the lush Northamptonshire countryside. We're lucky we went when we did as the gloom hasn't lifted all day. In fact, it pouring down now. But we're tucked up warm and dry, watching 'Can Can' and sewing and chattering.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

New Ottoline dollies

Just a really quick, late night post to show a little peek at the new Ottoline dollies I'm working on. I've finished three and hope to finish the other four tomorrow night!