Friday, 28 September 2012

Week 52 - 365


Look at that.....week 52!  Happy dancing from my corner!

From the top:  dangly mittens; chilling out on Sunday; autumn leaves; soup making; coffee with hubbie; fabric painting; flowers for me (I have just completed a 365 after all!).

I can't believe I've been doing this project for a year.  Time flies.  And I actually finished it.  And I really enjoyed it!   

Come back next week to hear about my photographic challenge for the next year. :)

For now, I'm just basking in the glory of having completed this one.

Wishing you a very happy weekend. :)





 

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Cupcake Love


I've been having a little explore of cupcake recipes recently.  I do love a cupcake.  There is something so decadent and a little bit naughty about eating a whole cake, all by yourself.  I also love afternoon tea.  Again, it feels so decadent - such an unnecesary 'meal' and so much yummier for that!

My birthday's coming up and I really wanted to make afternoon tea and make some 'special' cupcakes for me and my friends.  Like the fancy ones you get at the (many) cupcake outlets that seem to have sprung up.   Gosh, I thought, they must be AMAZING cakes if they can command the prices they seem to (and pay for rent prices in Central London).  I can't confess to actually having eaten any (the price thing...) but lots of them have books out and share their recipes so that seemed like the next best thing.

Now, this is a purely personal opinion, but compared to my traditional, fail safe, could-make-these-in-my-sleep cupcake recipe,  a lot of the them seem to have an awful lot of sugar.  In the cake itself and certainly in the buttercream icing.   Almost cloyingly so from the couple I've tried and the quantities seem pretty similar across the board.  They do look very pretty, but wow, that sweet hit is a little too much for my tastebuds.

So, I've reverted back to my trusty Be-Ro book.  Used by my mum too (the chocolate cake is our traditional family birthday cake), the recipes are simple, traditional and - get this - WORK EVERY TIME.   I'm going to 'special up' my cakes  (if you will) by buying very fancy decorations for them and maybe some fancy cases.  But beyond that, I'm sticking with the maxim if it ain't broke....

So there you have it.  A bit of a rant and a not-very-scientific experiment that proves (to me at least) that traditional is often best.

And, here's the recipe I use in case you'd like it.  I don't even need to get the book I've done it so many times:

100g butter
100g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
2 eggs.

Beat the sugar and butter together.  Add the two eggs.  Mix in the flour (gradually-ish).
Personally I do all this in the magimix, much easier and it's always worked brilliantly.
Put into cupcake cases and bake for 15 mins at gas mark 5.

Buttercream is 50g butter and 100g icing sugar.  Beat together and add a bit of flavouring and/or colouring if you fancy.

Optional: decorate with the gaudiest decorations you can find.  We follow the philosophy 'more is more' when it comes to cake decorating.


And there you have it. 


Enjoy. :)






Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Ode to Summer




The return makes one love the farewell
                                                            Alfred de Musset


Processed using Kim Klassen textures partings, grunged up and reverie.


kimklassencafe
 
 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Hello Monday


Hello Monday........and hello autumn.

The weekend was....cold, cosy, autumny. 

Dangly mitten season has begun, as has conker gathering.




The fire went on for the first time and we spent ages poring over recipe books in  search of the perfect comfort cake.




Here is autumn from where I stand today:


Today we are saying:

Hello catching up with friends
Hello to a tea party
Hello rain and wind (boo)
Hello cosy fires
Hello baking


What about you?


Linking up with Lisa Leonard (who has some very pretty autumny decoration ideas today).

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Week 51 - 365



From the top:  celebrating niece and nephew birthdays; tea and a magazine; patio art; releasing the butterflies (the Moo had a butterfly garden - they send you caterpillars and you look after them until they're butterflies and then release them); making clay animals; exploring before ballet; getting snacks ready for school.

One week to go on my 365 adventure.  Woot woot!

See ya next week. x


Friday, 21 September 2012

5 Things



I'm not sure what happened to this week....started off well enough and then I seemed to hit the doldrums.  Creativity zero.  Inspiration zero.  Accomplishments zero.  Hmmm. 

So for a change I thought I'd have a go at Kim Klassen and Xanthe Berkley's 5 fact Friday. 

and here they are: 5 facts......emphasis here is on random:


1.  I'm currently reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.  It's pretty amazing. She has a new book out (Daring Greatly) and has a read along starting next week which I'm joining in with.  I've also been listening to her TED talks too.  My favourite bit is the story of when she tells her therapist that she just wants some specific tools and tips to help her live wholeheartedly, none of that 'childhood crap'.  Hahaha, love it!   She has links to all her TED talks and other resources on her website which you can find here.


2.  My favourite programme on TV at the minute is Parade's End.  Tom Stoppard has adapted Ford Madox Ford's book of the same name and it stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall.  The last episode is tonight.  You should check it out if you haven't already.


3. My birthday is imminent.  Maybe that's why I'm feeling so bleugh.  Last year I started my 365.  This year I feel like taking on a new photographic project.  Any suggestions?


4. There is one tree in my garden that has changed to a beautiful autumnal red.  Everything else is really green.  What's up with the seasons these days?


5.  I'm looking forward to a cosy weekend of reading, tea, baking and sleeping. Sigh.  Luxury.   And hopefully some recharging. :)


Have a lovely weekend.

See you next week. (Week 51 will post tomorrow).


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Texture Tuesday




This week's theme is orange.  Although it's chillier and the colour changes have started, we haven't really seen the autumn colour burst yet so instead I've had a little play with contrasts. :)

Image processed using Kim Klassen textures grunged up, faved and history texture.


kimklassencafe
 
 
 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Hello Monday


We've been enjoying a little of this:



....and a little downtime this weekend. 


There is a definite nip in the air, however, and we are starting to see some changes.



This Monday we're saying:

Hello to chilly mornings and longer evenings
Hello to cardis and scarves (love!)
Hello to catching up with friends
Hello to settling in to new homework routines
Hello to catching up with photo editing
Hello to (a renewed) attempt at healthier eating!

How about you?  What's it like in your part of the world and what are you saying hello to today?



Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Week 50 - 365




From the top:  early morning friendship bracelet making; cutting back the lavender; out and about; feeling autumnal in the garden; a little splash of orange; on my walk; the Imperial War Museum (if you're in London, the Cecil Beaton war photography exhibition is a must see).

So that's it.  Another week gone.  Hope you had a good one and happy weekend. :)


Thursday, 13 September 2012

Liberate your Art 2012



This is my first year participating in Liberate your Art, hosted by the brilliant Kat Sloma at Kat Eye Studio and I absolutely loved it.  The idea is that you print 5 postcards of your work and send them to Kat who then distributes them across the world (and sends you one of her lovely cards too!).  Over the summer you get beautiful pieces of art through your letterbox and make connections with some amazing artists.

Here are the ones I received ( starting at the top left hand corner and working clockwise), with links so you can go and check out more of their fabulous work:

Lisa who you can find on instagram @lschwing
Dawn who you can find at girlunwinding.wordpress.com
Cyndy who you can find at www.studiomphotos.blogspot.com
Kat who you can find at www.kateyestudio.com
Terri who you can find at porterimages58.blogspot.com and focusonlifegrp.blogspot.com
Michelle who you can find at www.michellegd.com

Kat has made a fantastic video with all the art featured which you can find here.  And this post is part of the Liberate your Art 2012 blog hop, so go and visit and be inspired. 

I love my postcards so much.  A huge thank you to the artists and to Kat for making this art swap happen.  I can't wait for next year. :)


 
 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

A Little Reminder




We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
George Bernard Shaw   



            


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Process


So, remember this post Fear of the Blank Page?

Well, I procrastinated about starting an art journal all summer.  My six year old lept on her journal in delight, ripped out most of the pages and either cut them in to small pieces or made 3D objects with them - a table, a cupcake, a cocktail (for me....she knows me well!).  My first reaction was,  huh I didn't want her to do that with it, I wanted her to use it for recording, sketching, collaging and journaling.  And then of course I realised that you can't give something to a six year old (or anyone else for that matter), say "do what you like with it" and then be disappointed when they, you know, do what they like with it. 

So, I have accepted that with my book I would like to record, sketch, collage and journal.  And that I really wanted my daughter to do something with hers that I could then copy.  You know, adapt a bit because I'm not six, but pretty much take her ideas and run with those. Hmmm.

I finally sat down at the weekend with a set of watercolour pencils (one of the best pieces of advice I got from my original post was get some colour on the page - thank you, Viv, you were right!), a pile of magazines, some pens and some stamps.  I started off with a really clear idea of what I wanted to do but pretty much from the off that went out the window and I didn't even really think about what I was doing.  I just ran with it and waited to see what I ended up with.



Now, I'm not claiming this is an amazing piece of art (ahem!).  But I have made a start and I am intrigued that the biggest obstacle to me ever starting art journaling - perfectionism - is the thing I subconsciously honed in on.  I guess we've spent a while taking about perfectionism over at Blogging from the Heart so it is fresh in my mind, but still I find it fascinating both that it came out and in the form it came out - sooooo much messier than I am really comfortable with!

So, a start.  Phew.  Proof to me that process really is more important that the end result.  But it is really fun and a great way to tune in to creativity and intuition.  If you've ever wanted to give it a go, I encourage you to do it.  Process is everything.  And, in the words of Steven Pressfield (Do the Work):

Don't prepare.  Begin.

There are millions of blogs and websites dedicated to art journaling and some absolutely gorgeous art journals out there.   You could really spend your entire life reading about them rather than doing.  Here are one or two that I found helpful.

Everyday is a holiday (currently running a free art journaling series)
The Art Journaler (lovely inspiration)
Daisy Yellow Blog (especially her Art Journaling 101 list)
A Beautiful Mess (I also have my eye on their e course Art Journal All Year)


I find myself really, really hoping that my pages will get prettier. And don't worry, you won't be seeing any more (unless there really is some sort of epic transformation!).  But I have begun. :)


Monday, 10 September 2012

Hello Monday


Hello Monday...after a weekend of making, baking, photo taking (and some rosé wine...I couldn't find a rhyme for that one!).



We've enjoyed a little Indian summer, forecast for the weekend only but very welcome nonetheless. 




And of course it wouldn't be complete without a little bubble blowing (check out the scary alien bokeh bubbles!).





This Monday we're saying:

Hello to cooler weather
Hello to the first full week of school
Hello to week 2 of Blogging from the Heart with Susannah Conway
Hello to getting a few fun little projects underway
Hello to a theatre trip
Hello to a long overdue wardrobe purge
Hello to family visits.

So....how was your weekend and what's in store for you this week?



Linking up with Lisa Leonard.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Week 49 - 365



From the top:  a nice cold beer; agapanthus; final days of holiday treat...crazy golf!; lunch out; first day of the new school year and excited to see her friends :) ; on my walk....autumn is coming; "mummy look, sundust...let's try and catch it!".

Hope you've had a good week.  We are easing back in to the routine and have been promised a heat wave weekend!

Have a good one and see you next week. :)


Thursday, 6 September 2012

In the Picture


This month's theme over at in the picture is my life right now.  Perfect for summer!  I loved this theme, it really encouraged me to take some selfies on holiday which I wouldn't usually do and as I'm the photographer in the family, this is pretty much the first year where there is some evidence I was there too!

Sand between my toes


windswept


beautiful gardens and even a little smile :)



sweetpeas


We go back to Suffolk every year.  It's where my dad was born and brought up and it has very special memories for me and my family.  The beach is beautiful and nearly always windy even in the height of summer, and I love the gardens with their typically English flowers.  Sweet peas, their scent especially, will always, always remind me of my dad and my grandma.   These selfies really sum up the place up for me.


So, there you have it.  Another month of selfies and I even managed a little smile. :)


Follow the link and check out the other selfies, always inspiring. :)


In The Picture

 

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

And so it goes




And just like that the holidays were over and she skipped off happily to school.



Tuesday, 4 September 2012

My wish for you




My wish for you
 
you skip, you dance. 
you walk your own path
fearlessly and against the flow of the crowd.
you dream, you walk in glorious technicolour.
you live life to the full.
you love and be loved.
you stay in wonder
at this world and all that it can be.

This is my wish for you.




 

Also linking up with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday.  Image processed using Kim Klassen texture Start.


 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Hello Monday




So long August.  You were a goodie, I'm gonna miss you.











Back to this week and we're saying:

Hello to a few last minute treats and trips before
Hello to the start of the school year on Wednesday
Hello new school uniform
Hello to (hopefully) finding the name tapes before Wednesday (and sewing them on...)
Hello to getting my mind out of holiday mode
Hello to inspiration
Hello to routine and timetables and getting organised.


So not ready but HELLO SEPTEMBER!!


What about you?  Are you ready?



Linking up with Lisa Leonard.


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