Sunday, 30 September 2012

Autumn Angel

Although it is still quite ward Autumn is here to stay. It is time for me to get to the seasonal crafts. The first is this lovely angel done with Tilda fabrics. Making it was highly inspirational as I have drawn out all the patterns by hand. Thought it was the first time I have done anything like that. It actually turned out quite well.Don't you think? It will be available in my shop very soon. Sold out! If you would like to buy similar items I am very happy to receive your email and will get back to you as soon as I can.

Autumn Tilda Angel

Autumn Tilda Angel

Autumn Tilda Angel

Autumn Tilda Angel

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Welcome Autumn

Last warm days brought us all out in the garden for some quality time together. So we all set out in the garden and made wreaths using all the berries we harvested earlier in the week. Anytime autumn arrives it brings back memories of the time I used to start school at this time. Here is a small memento for you too.

Ode To Autumn by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

The Famous Irish Avoca

Oh yes it is that time of the year again and we are off to Dublin in  less than 23 days time. I am so excited to meet old friends and walk the streets soaking in liquid sunshine. Hope to get less than last year. I am so looking forward to our trip to Avoca shop. I get something sweet every year. I don't actually have anything in mind but I always find something that I like to take home each and every year.

I have to admit that I am also a big fan of the business model as the whole story started some what back in  early 1720 with a mill at Avoca Village, County Wicklow. Originally set up in 1723 as a co-operative where farmers could spin and weave their wool, the Mill's uncoloured yarn was turned into tweeds and blankets. However, colour soon came to Avoca as vivid natural vegetable dyes in reds, greens, and yellows brightened the Mill's output. These were soon recognised as Avoca Handweavers' signature hues and the Mill thrived through the 1920s and 30s when it was run by a marvellous trio of sisters, the Wynnes.

By the 1960s however, it had fallen silent.Later rescued by  Donald and Hilary Pratt  a Dublin lawyer and wife. Donald left law and Hilary gave up her teaching job as they took over the leaking Mill and empty order book. But soon the looms were humming again and Avoca began to colour the world once more.

There are 10 Avoca stores through out the country still my favorite is the one on Suffolk street in Dublin city centre.If you happen to visit the shop pay some attention to the windows as they are lovely feast for the eye! The colors are so so so balmy. The last time I was there they were dressed elegantly with autumn scenes. Lifelike manikins posing in a lifelike garden  in wellies and layered Anthology clothing all decorated with signature twinkle lights. Inside and always expending and changing items of fashion,home, beauty and jewelry extravaganza  not to mention the lovely food hall and restaurant where you can sample gorgeous Irish food.

Here is my  afternoon delight to you. The recipe of the mouthwateringly good Irish Avoca Cafe Brown Bread. Enjoy!

The famous Irish Avoca Cafe Brown Bread


200g White flour
300g Course brown flour
3 handfuls bran
2 handfuls wheatgerm
2 tsp baking powder
1 level tsp salt
1 dessertspoon treacle
600 - 900ml milk
sesame seeds, for sprinkling on top (optional)

Preheat oven to 200C/Fan 180C. Generously oil a large loaf pan. Dust it with dried breadcrumbs if available. If not use some flour.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl by hand. From this on use a wooden spoon. Add the treacle and gradually stir in enough milk to give the batter a "moist but not sloppy" texture.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan and shake to level. If you are ready put it in the oven for 6 to 20 mins, keeping an eye on the bread to see when it has risen. When it has risen reduce the heat to 160C and continue to bake for another hour.
Run a knife around the inner edges of the pan to loosen the bread and ease it out. If, when tapped on the bottom the bread sounds hollow, its done. Otherwise place it back in the oven just on the rack without its pan, and bake a bit more, until it passes the "hollow test", about 10 to 15 mins.
Slice to serve when look warm serve with jam or my personal favorite paté with wild berries.

Friday, 7 September 2012

New Pictures of Tildas Vintereventyr

I just cannot wait to get sewing. The ballerina will be my first project for sure.. I love the nutcracker!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Our Home

As I have promised some times earlier here are the pictures of our new home. It is a bit bare as we only have been living in it for 1 month but still is it progressing slowly.I think we are still adjusting ourselves to living in a house rather than a flat which is 4 times smaller. We also have garden that we just adore we have already worked a lot in it to bring up to this state as the previous owners did not really care for it. For now we just cleaned it mainly and only in the autumn we will be doing some real gardening and planting. I just cannot wait to have my own little garden of herbs and vegetables outside. We also have a new visitor who I mean to introduce in the next some posts. It’s a cat a sweet little gray cat. I actually thought I would never like cats but she grew on us in the past month and we love having her around. I will be sewing a little pillow for her a comfy patchwork pillow and will put it on the porch where she loves to sit and look inside. I kind of think of her as a new addition to our family.
Now I must fly as I am full in autumn angel production mode, so it's time for hours of sewing and neglecting housework, watching my favorite autumn movies, orange lime lemonade, and afternoons of sewing. Anyway I just love it!!!