Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!

All these images are from my "Hallooooweeeeeen" board on Pinterest. Click on through to see some more and to get the credits for this little lot of spoooOOOky awesomeness.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Things I Have Learned This Week

  1. The rumbling sounds from your stomach are called borborygmi.
  2. Peripatetic: a person who travels form place to place.
  3. As a reward for winning the part of Harry Potter, a young Daniel Radcliffe was allowed to stay up and watch Fawlty Towers. 
  4. Emus are the only bird in the world with calf muscles.
  5. A full Kindle weighs a billionth of a billionth of a gram more than a brand new one.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

New Cakes from Treacle & Co

Treacle Sponge with vanilla ice cream and figs.



Chocolate, prune and armagnac cake with clotted cream and raspberries.


(Apologies for crappy low-light photos. The yumminess of the cake more than makes up for it. If only we could lick the screen.)

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Renegade London

It's taken me over two weeks to blog about this, but on 8th October, Hubbo and I went along to Renegade's first ever London craft fair. I mainly went to get ideas for new ways to display our wares at our next craft fair, but found myself drooling over pretty much everything and wishing I'd brought a huge wadge of cash with me. Here are a few pics of my fave stands:



This is illustrator Kate Sutton's work. She had a fab cardboard cuckoo clock on her stand, total wanties.





Also total wanties on the poster with the bear in the top right corner.


Nice way to display things, moody bloke not included.


Like the washing line idea. Quite a few stalls employed this, it works really well.



Love the idea of wrapping little ornaments in tissue paper and cellophane.


Ahh, there's that cardboard cuckoo clock on the right there.


Although I didn't buy anything, I picked up a tonne of business cards, so I can go through all these fab maker sites at my leisure and add things to my Christmas wishlist and get a few ideas for Crimbo pressies to give myself along the way.

If I was going to review the fair, I'd say on the plus side, it was really well organised, a good, light space with lots of space for each stand to "breathe", a wide range of interesting sellers, and easily accessible toilets. On the down side, no cash machine near by (although many stands were taking PayPal payments) and no cafe. I thought the lack of refreshments a bit weird and a total missed trick, but maybe that was just because I'm tea and cake obsessed.

After the fair, Hubbo and I wandered over to Spitalfields and had a very late lunch/early dinner here. It was AMAZEBALLS. Heartily recommended for traditional English grub. I had a Sticky Toffee Pudding that was so good I didn't even mind the dates.

Also quite exciting was that we got to use the new-ish Overground line to travel around. The orange line. When Anerley was my local station, that track was just a standard grey, boring and dirty suburban train line, so it's very nice to see the whole stretch tarted up and meandering its way all across London instead of having to change at New Cross to get the Underground. Yep, still a travel geek.

I hope Renegade decides to come back next year. I'll be there, my pocket full of spondoolix at the ready.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Blackberry Cheesecake

I promised Hubbo I'd make him a cheesecake for his birthday. I also promised a lamb stew, but as it was near to 30 degrees that first weekend in October (!!) it was a bit too hot for both. So, the following weekend he got his cheesecake:

blackberry cheesecake

It came out really well. It was only my second ever attempt at making one and it came out much better than my first. It has Ginger Nut base, a lightly lemon flavoured cheese, and blackberry sauce. Tip blackberries over the top at will. A great tip I picked up on the BBC Good Food website was to allow the cheesecake to cool inside the oven after turning it off, rather than whipping it out and letting it cool on the counter. This prevents the surface cracking. Genius.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Pretty Yarny Goodness

new yarns

The results of my afternoon of dyeing last Friday. Not all of them have names yet, and only one has been wound in to a ball so far, but I am making myself LEAVE THEM ALONE. Must do work first, finish the long line of WIPs, then I can play with the new pretties.

Are we taking bets on how long will my willpower hold?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

WIP: Halloween ABC

halloween embroidery 1

I can't quite believe I've started another project, but when I saw this embroidery on the Feeling Stitchy blog, I HAD to stitch it myself, too. I mean, it's an ABC (love), it's Halloween themed (love LOVE) and it's embroidered (love LOVE LOVE). Hopefully it's going to look like this when it's finished, although I have my doubts about whether that'll be in time for Halloween even though I'm a bit further on than I was when this picture was taken.

Better crack on!

Monday, 17 October 2011

Robot Invasion!

Thar be a new exhibition going down at Hove Museum at the moment. Robot Invasion! is a HUGE collection of robots, space-themed toys and illustrations belonging to Sussex-based illustrator Chris McEwan, who not only is a member of Brighton Illustrators Group, but was one of my tutors at uni.

It was very nice to see the temporary exhibition spaces in proper use again; the last few times I'd been to Hove Museum they'd been empty. However, for an exhibition that had only been open two days, some of the cases were in need of a bit of attention. The contents of several of the boxes were obscured as the small strip of card masking the strip lights in each one had fallen down. Not a problem, I'm sure it was just a case of needing to use stronger tape and could be fixed in a jiffy, but it was a little disappointing. The sheer range of robots and toys well made up for my minor niggles, though. Check some of these babies out:


jet gun

out of this world



space outlaw

mr chief

space gun

I particularly like the yellow-backed cases the toys were displayed in. Makes a nice, bright and fitting change to the usual white. The cases are painted a dark grey on the outside. Grey and yellow being one of my fave colour combos, naturally I was going to like it.

The exhibition is on now and runs until 21st February 2012. Get yourself down there, it's well worth a look, along with the rest of the exhibits upstairs. I hadn't been up there for a year or two and had forgotten the lovely Wizard's Attic and the tiny cinema with chairs and decoration from the old Regent Cinema in Brighton, which is now Boots.

(The tearoom is also worth a visit, natch. I had a very nice savoury cream tea with the yummiest chive butter for my ENORMOUS cheese scone. It also comes with a little bowl of Mini Cheddars, kettle chips, and Twiglets. I had to give those to Hubbo, obv. Can't have Marmite flavoured evilness spoiling my scone experience.)

Friday, 14 October 2011

East Beach Cafe, Littlehampton

On Tuesday, Hubbo and I had a little trip out for a couple of hours. Hubbo's been off work sick (again) for a couple of weeks, so I thought he needed a bit of cheering up. Plus, I combined the trip with collecting a bargainous fire screen I'd won on ebay, so win-win. I'd heard lots of nice things about East Beach Cafe in Littlehampton, so I was very willing to give it a go.

east beach cafe7

east beach cafe1

Exterior very nice; I think it's weathered metal, although I didn't touch it to make sure. I love how it looks like a shell or a fish. It's surprisingly slim, only about 5 metres wide. The inside back wall mirrors the interesting shapes on the outside, the ribcage, if you will. On the side facing the beach, it's all floor-to-ceiling windows with a lovely view directly over the water. We watched a couple of crazy kite surfers as we slurped and nibbled.

east beach cafe5

east beach cafe6

east beach cafe2

I had Spiced Apple Cake, which was very nice, Hubbo had a nice, fat Millionaire's Shortbread. Twinning's tea, but then you can't have everything. They do, however, use their own personal blend of coffee beans. Hubbo proclaimed the coffee "yeah, alright" in a surprised tone. This, coming from a dude who worships at the altar of Monmouth, is high praise for a coffee that doesn't come from their hallowed roastery and therefore couldn't possibly compare.

east beach cafe3

east beach cafe4

We arrived after lunch service had finished so I didn't see the main menu, but their Christmas menu sounded very nice, plus they're doing a It's a Wonderful Life with bangers & mash and mulled wine on 22nd December, which is very tempting.

I liked it very much, lovely building, lovely cake. Unisex toilets with Dyson Airblade handryer, so bonus points for that. I bet it's fabulous on a hot day with all the tall windows open, but I bet I'd prefer it on a blustery one, sheltering from the cold with a hot cuppa.

Lovely, 8/10.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Owl Post

My Owl and the Pussycat cards came two weeks ago, I'm pretty chuffed with them. As usual, they are Vistaprint's Oversized Postcards printed in full colour on the front and with a greyscale image on the back:





I addressed 87 of the buggers on Sunday night and posted them all out on Monday. Hopefully they've just arrived at their destinations and are already doing their magic thing, although it's quite likely that most of those people I've sent one to are at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which started today. Never mind, they can be a nice little present for them for when they get back to work next week!

It's the first mail out I've done this year (!!!), due to being so caught up with The Huge Project, so I'm a bit out of practice with addressing them all, but I need to get myself out there and noticed again as I will technically be unemployed come January. Eek!

I've just got to come up with an idea for my Christmas card now....

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Young & Tender

younger tender

Couldn't resist another one. They've gone up 10p again! Still, 75p is a bargain in anyone's book. Plus, they now come with a little pocket in top edge seam for you to keep your purse/keys/shopping list in, which is just cool, and well worth the extra few pennies!

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Stirring Up Trouble

Five skeins of the stuff, to be precise. It should be nice and dry and ready for me to collect this Wednesday. Can't wait.

top view TARDIS

mountain peak Mountain Peak

plum crumble Plum Crumble

Thinking of names for the colourways is the best bit.