Monday, December 31, 2012

New silver jewellery

For this Christmas, which is the first for both Lexi and Callum, I made, with their help, silver jewellery for their mums, dads and grandparents - pendents, beads, cufflinks and pins. Lots of fun and I love the byproduct of beautiful stamps that could be used for signing off the little ones thank you cards!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

New ceramics

This Saturday I'm off to BAYC (on the corner of Oakfield and Pershore Roads) for a craft fair (1-4) and I have made some new things - these pictures above and some robin bauble decorations.

Genders of science

A little while ago I saw a call for an exhibition celebrating 'woman' and it got me thinking about what I would have made. Contemplating the genders associated with the three sciences (physics, chemistry & biology) I came up with the spheres above representing the sun & moon (physics), gold & silver (chemistry) and male &  female cells with there chromosomes painted within (biology). Each of these things has been historically  associated with a particular gender or generates that gender.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cruet set on Etsy email!

The sprouts have made it to the Etsy Cyber Monday email - all that tagging has been worth it - had several sales too with the discount code. Here it is again BLACKCYBER12!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Opus again

Last night I took Nick to Opus again, for his birthday - the food was superb as before. I had smoked haddock fishcake with poached egg (with a runny middle, which I have been denied for many months, yummy) and the braised lamb shank, while Nick had scallops with pork belly and then a fillet steak. We both had creme brulee for dessert and still made it home before Lexi went to bed.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

One month!

Our little girl is one month old today! Gosh that has gone by quickly. To celebrate I have made another cake - Hestons' exploding chocolate gateau - though first I had to make some shortbread too! I've been dying to make this recipe, the popping candy has been sat in the cupboard for about 4months! Scrummy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Voucher time!

Thinking of your Christmas lists already? The laughingsnail etsy shop has a discount of 25% off from now til 27th November - use code BLACKCYBER12 at the checkout!

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Its oh so quiet.....

Well it has been on the blog and for good reason - our little girl Lexi arrived a couple of weeks ago and has been keeping us on our toes! Though yesterday I did manage to make some little 'bat cakes' for Halloween. The local kids even remembered we made cakes last year and were super excited to see we'd done it again! (Oops the picture is upside down, but you get the idea!!)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


Inspired by this lovely post be design sponge I have been having lots of fun making 'barnacles' from my remaining flax clay - also trying out a couple of new glazes - not a bad result, though a bit more glaze is required I think.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Startford food festival & mushroom risotto

Yesterday we pottered down to Stratford upon Avon to visit their food festival - we indulged in tasty treats - including these excellent churros y chocolate! We also got rather carried away at the Carluccio's stand and bought lots of super delicious mushrooms - which we made in to a sumptuous risotto. We had king ceps (those big ones at the top of the photo below) sauteed in truffle butter and then the winter chanterelles and porcinis in the rice - yummm!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cell division at Aspex Gallery

Mum & Dad popped down to Portsmouth today to check out the exhibition I'm in at the Aspex gallery - it looks amazing, many thanks to Letty & her team for making it looking so good!

 Here's my periodic table and below some more molecular pebbles below Caroline Misslebrooks creations.

Monday, September 10, 2012

moses basket liner

Vicki very generously has let us borrow her moses basket and I thought I would add a little something to it so I have used up all the scraps from making the whales and the quilt  - hopefully it won't keep the baby awake too much!

PS I realise I haven't actually put up a pic of the whales - so here they are, they're now on the wires above the cot!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Number 23, Leamington Spa

On Saturday we popped down to Leamington Spa to visit the Cloth Nappy Company and to have a special lunch to celebrate Dick's 65th birthday and our first wedding anniversary. We went to number 23, which was spectacular - definitely worth another visit for dinner or may be afternoon tea! 

Our starters included salmon with beetroot and salmon with smoked egg yolk
For mains we got carried away with the steak - both cap and fillet but Jean had the stone bass, which was scrummy, even if I hadn't heard of it before.
And dessert was magnificent too - peaches with macaroons, gingerbread with damson consomme, pistachio cake and finally some little petit fours!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Christmas robins & snow buntings

Fresh from the kiln this morning - I've been thinking about these for a year -so pleased with them!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tayberry Jam

Last week when we were on holiday in St Quay Katrine & Francoise gave us some very yummy jam - softly set. Sometimes mine can be a bit solid, to say the least, so I thought I would look up how the French make jam. The gist was generally to mix the fruit and sugar together the night before and then strain off the juice, boil that up to jam temperature then add back all the fruit and boil for another 5-10min. So thats what I did for the Tayberry Jam above (tayberries picked near Belton) and it looks good so far!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Banana & chocolate cupcakes

Bananas, Cinnamon and chocolate icing - what more could a girl ask for (apart from some more cupcake cases?!). Recipe from the Hummingbird cook book.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Butterfly celebration

Now that Adrian & Sarah are happily married and away on their honeymoon I can reveal my new creation - porcelain butterflies with their names and wedding date on a fabric background. I thought this looked pretty cute!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

St Quay

Just back from a lovely week in St Quay, Brittany - lots of galettes & crepes!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bank Restaurant, Bexleyheath

We found ourselves out for tea on Friday night before Adrian & Sarah's wedding - this was parma ham, roasted figs, roasted red pepper sauce and remoulade - yummy!! The wedding was pretty good too - congratulations guys!

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Tasty treats

This last weekend Dougal & Soaz arrived in the country for a long break - bringing with them my new nephew! We had a lovely weekend with Grandma & Grandpa - eating at Caracoli (excellent ploughman's lunch) and then pottling up to Brum for a few days. Callum was super well behaved and we had lunch at Maison Mayci too - good training for our imminent French holiday for his christening!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ruby wedding

It was J & D's ruby wedding anniversary at the weekend and N commissioned a little bunting! Lots of fun to make and to choose the material in ruby-ish colours. We also made some rather tasty cheesecakes - one from a little Avoca book I bought in Ireland a few years ago and one from an Australian Women's weekly cook book.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Finished quilt

The quilt is finished and doesn't it look fabulous! Thanks to the Quilt Room for finishing it off and to Mum & Dad for picking it up and sending the lovely photo above!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Iguacu falls

 Last week I was lucky enough to go to Iguacu falls in Brazil for the anual IADR conference, we took an afternoon off from the poster session and went to see the falls. The weather wasn't stunning but there was a lot of water coming down the river! We met a few critters on the way round - including the quati, of insatiable appetite, and several beautiful butterflies - one of which thought my trousers where the place to hang out!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Avoncroft & GWL

On Friday I took the day off and went with Dad to the Avoncroft museum - which I have known about for years and only just got round to visiting! We had a super day dodging in and out of the rain bursts. They have quite a collection of rescued buildings from the local area - including several 500 year old ones, which was quite impressive. Mum was off volunteering at the RHS stand at Gardener's World live and Dad and I joined her on Saturday for a jolly good potter about - in fact we left as they were announcing the closing of the halls, we could have been there all night! The floral marquee was spectacular and we came home with a couple of new heuchera varieties. But one of my favourite exhibits was Pest of British - which was entirely knitted like the lovely bee below!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mango & Pistachio Biscotti

We got a paper accepted today (yippee) so in lab tradition I have made cake, or rather biscuits. Adapting last week's biscotti recipe I have used 100g pistachios and 125g dried mango instead of the almonds and figs. I didn't put in any lemon zest and I used a teaspoon of rose water instead of the vanilla but I reckon I could have used a bit more! They are very yummy, even more moreish than the figgy ones!

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Raspberry friands & Figgy biscotti

This week at work we have had a couple of Jubilee celebrations. On Thursday we had a bake sale for ST Mary's hospice and I made some delicious little friands and some figgy biscotti. Then on Friday we had a picnic for which I made cheese straws (just Blacksticks cheese and puff pastry but highly effective).

For the friands (above) sift together 75g plain flour, 225g icing sugar, 100g ground almonds and a pinch of salt. In another bowl lightly whisk together 5 egg whits until just about holding soft peaks. Add the egg whites with 135g melted and cooled unsalted butter to the dry ingredients, along with the zest of 1 and a half lemons. Mix together until combined and then divide between 12 silicon muffin or friand holes. Place 5 raspberries on the top of each friand and scatter with some flaked almonds. Bake at 180C for 15min. Cool in the tin before carefully removing and dusting with icing sugar!

For the biscotti, which I packaged with my little porcelain tags, sift 225g plain flour, 150g caster sugar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Add 75g chopped blanched almonds, 100g chopped dried figs and the zest of a lemon. Mix together. Whisk together a whole egg and an extra egg yolk, 50g melted and cooled unsalted butter and a teaspoon of vanilla essence. Add all this to the dry ingredients and mix to a soft dough. Divide in two and make into two 20cm sausages. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake at 180C for 35 min. Cool and then slice into 1cm diagonal slices. Lay flat in one layer on a lined baking sheet or two and cook at 170C for 10min, flip them all over and cook for another 10min. Cool and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Edale & Chatsworth

At the weekend we went up to Edale to stay at the lovely Western House B&B. On Saturday we took a walk over Hollin's Cross to Castleton. After a refreshing cup of tea and some cake (lemony madelaine's at the Cinnamon Bear Cafe) we walked along the geological trail to Treak Cliff Cavern.
Its one of the few places you can see Blue John stone in situ. Our guide was very funny and we had a great time pottering through the caves - seeing the fossils and stones and even some rather nice stalactites.
On Sunday we went to Chatsworth - now unwrapped from its year long face lift and scaffolding. It looked stunning and the Caro sculptures were an interesting addition. We paddled in the cascade, licked ice creams, wandered in the maze and bathed in the sun.

baby bird

Possibly not a great photo but this is one of the baby blue tits taking a peak at the world, we saw both mum & dad come and feed it. Now I think they have fledged - we'll need to go and check for sounds of tweeting!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Blue clay

I made a little surprise for my new nephew in New Orleans - and here it is all arrived there - just about made it with an ocean of bubble wrap. Many thanks to Callum's Dad as I had totally forgotten to take any pictures. It says Est 2012 down the edge of the M and is made from Sky Blue tinted porcelain. We had a lot of fun trying to stick it all together - go epoxy based glue, even if you do smell a bit nasty.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...