Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Trifle Trouble

For Christmas lunch this year, I made a trifle. Trifle with moscato, actually, from Gourmet Traveller (the only magazine I'll read). I started cooking it three days before Christmas, after spending two days before that going to a wide variety of shops to find the ingredients, including Creme de Cassis and real creme fraiche. Thank god for the RE store in Leederville!

Amazingly I found fresh blackberries (expensive!) in Coles.

It wasn't until I got to this point that I realised I was making blackberry jelly from scratch! It took 50mins to infuse this mixture of blackberries, sugar, vanilla bean, moscato and creme de cassis. Then it took two days to set because I didn't have the gelatine amounts right - I had halved the recipe (originally for 20 people) and I find the maths a bit tricky. But got it eventaully and it was worth it!

Then, at the last minute late on Christmas Eve I realised I didn't have enough sponge and had to make another one! Finally finished at 9.30pm and fell into bed thoroughly exhausted.

The syrup topping was also handmade and oh, so rich and yummy. The layers were jelly, sponge and creme fraiche with lemon rind and vanilla bean seeds.

So rich and so delicious! I couldn't find a big enough glass bowl to show off the layers, so it had to go in this bowl, which was a little disappointing, but didn't detract from the taste at all.

And, best of all? It has stayed at mum's place. No stupid overconsumption of trifle for me!

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Etsy Treasury

Wow! Look! I'm included in my very first Treasury. This really makes me feel motivated to get on and work on my shop. Not today though - too tired after late night baking and early morning airport run and family lunch - and not tomorrow either, natch!

Happy Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mexican Stand-off

I'm off to appointments today to help sort out the year. There will be a proper post soon, but as it has to do with Christmas pressies for people who look at this blog, I think it would be sensible to wait until after Christmas day to post about it.

So, here is my dog and my best friend's cat. They sit like this often. The cat really, really wants to be friends with the dog, but the dog is fairly terrified and won't let her come any closer than that. So, they just sit staring at each other. The cat will roll over and stretch and meow and yawn and do all kinds of showing off things. The dog just stares. She is just a bit OC...
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Another baking summer day

Today was hot, hot, hot. I think it got to about 37 or so. I was out visiting a market that I'm thinking of applying to and while it was lovely - all the stalls were a good fit with my stuff - it was too hot for marketeering. Both for buyers and sellers.

I got home and slept the heat away and this evening watered the garden just as large drops of rain fell into the heat. Not really rain so much as a sprinkle. I kept watering the garden. But the clouds over the city in the sunset were lovely. The top shot is our view of the city from the eastern side of the house - through two buildings and the bottom is a zoom in of the same image. I'm glad the sun has gone today, but the night is not all that cooler, certainly not in the house. But Tom and I have yummy fancy meat from the posh butcher for dinner and I've downed two very cold Baccardi and cokes, so I might just survive!

Apparently it will be a hot Christmas this year. So very different from the frozen north.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Market Recovery

It takes me about a day to recover from a market. This involves sleeping until as late as possible, eating then reading then sleeping again. I actually didn't come good until I went to the beach and threw myself into the cold but oh-so-lovely ocean. Then I ate a burger, had a beer and an icecream. All good now!

The market was hard work. Because I've rearranged my stall I can't now sit down on a normal height chair and still see what is going on (without looking ridiculously squat anyway) so my feet were killing me by the time I got home. So much so that the pain kept me awake even though I was beyond tired. And my back packed it in too. In the end I was so glad that it was only four hours and I absolutely need a stool of some kind for Sunday.

For all the hard work it wasn't that rewarding, not for the fee anyway. Plus the lighting was pretty bad. But it was still good, I'm still glad I went, although I must admit that I'm coming to think that spending my energy on selling online might be more rewarding and only go to a few select markets so I can meet customers....still a nebulous thought borne during a trying evening. On the positive side I got a lot, a LOT of very positive comments and I was really happy to receive them even if they didn't result in a sale. It made me feel much better about my product. I do find that I get very despondent and unsure of myself when I just sit at home with no contact with customers.

This time I need to thank my special friend, Tom, for being there all evening and being so supportive and helpful and only getting annoyed once ;).

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Things to love and be inspired by

Struggling between jealousy and love at the gorgeousness of these products by Petals

and looking over at my mass of bags and feeling very inadequate. Trying to get over it.

It is useless to be jealous, I know, and a difficult emotion to control and admit to. It isn't really that I wish I'd made these exact things, just that I wish I had a recognisable style. I'm getting there, slowly, but I'm impatient to be there already.

Subi Upmarket tomorrow. Eeek!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

New ideas

I really should stop having new ideas just before a market. It completely throws me and my plans - I just can't resist trying something out, which usually results in a new direction and my previously planned out 'collection' is warped by this new idea.

So, the story goes that last night Mum and I went to the opening of the George St Artist Group exhibition in Hamilton Hill. I love openings because they have a vibe and it is lovely seeing the people who make the art there. Plus with my current funds crisis free food and booze doesn't go astray either! Anyway, there was some great art there. I decided, while looking at one piece in particular, that I needed to start and art collection fund. Just small amounts to be saved so that when I go to something like that and see something I really love, I can actually buy it. But this is beside the point...

One of the women there had made this incredible wall hanging of silk and hand dyed...something, silk perhaps, and had used a technique she called something I can't remember (I was in awe of what I was looking at, okay, not taking in the details!) but I saw it as reverse applique.

I've been thinking about reverse applique for a while now. I love, love, love applique - the kind that you do with silk thread and minuscule needles and liberty fabric. I first read about reverse applique in a book about using Charles Rennie Mackintosh's designs as inspiration for embroidery and thought it was intriguing. However, I find it hard to use books for inspiration - I really need to see and touch something to get an idea of how it is made.

Anyway, this morning I got up at 6am and made the bag below. My first reverse applique and I'm pretty happy with it. I have lots of other ideas for smaller applique...

Like I said, it is annoying having new ideas just before a market!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Bags!

Just quickly, because I have to get back to the sewing, but this is what I've been working on the for the last few days. They are sturdy, practical totes. Made with either canvas or duck canvas - very usable and also pretty!

Check out the rest of them at flickr.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Carrots Interrupted

Nothing more disstressing than waking up in the morning and seeing carnage in the vege plot. Puts one in a grumpy mood and it is such a violent change from sleepiness to devastated that it will take numerous cups of tea to get over it. You can see the culprit in the background of the second picture, blithely eating her breakfast. And okay, my carrots wouldn't have been perfect, but they would have been a bit *longer* at least. The weird bit is that I dreamt about eating them last night and they were super carrot-sweet. I will eat these - probably just munch on them today.

The other damage amounts to the top of one capsicum plant broken off and a few worse for wear garlics. Plus, the big hole she dug in the soil. Never mind. Guess I'll need that fence after all. Alternatively, don't let the cat out at 2am!
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