Posts Tagged hot cross buns

Spring Has Sprung

Printemps TileTo celebrate all things greening up, I got this  handpainted roof tile from my friend Jan which she has done in the style of Alphonse Mucha.  I put it up on my terrace and the blue matches the window shutters so ‘le printemps’ has officially started in my garden now.

Because of the Great British Sewing Bee programme – the final is tonight and my money’s on Lauren although Ann is soooo talented too – my daughter has shown an interest in dressmaking which I am trying to encourage.  I found this easy peasy skirt tutorial over on Lily’s Quilts.  Being a quilter, first and foremost, Lynne has devised this pattern which only uses those implements beloved of  quilters and patchworkers everywhere, the rotary cutter, mat and quilter’s ruler – so I thought I’d give it a try.  Madamoiselle Tialys loved the Echino fabric ‘Buck’ that Lynne used so I ordered some in pink.

Quilters Skirt

I might put a bit of ‘ease’ in it next time as it does work out very body hugging but I think it looks quite cool and she is chuffed to bits with it.

Quilters Skirts (2)

(I think this is what the U.S. queen of posing – Tyra Banks – calls the ‘booty tooch’  – I blame satellite T.V.)

Of course, she is finishing Uni for the summer in another six weeks or so and it won’t be worth installing a sewing machine in her flat until the next academic year but, when she comes home for the holidays, I will try some more patterns with her and keep up the momentum.

I made a ‘rough’ copy first for myself, just to try the pattern out, but it actually worked out quite well so I might as well wear it.

Quilters Skirts (1)

The trouble is, I made it out of the same Ikea fabric I covered my kitchen stools with and, because I know this, I probably won’t feel right wearing it out and about.  However, it will be great for just hanging out at home during the summer months.  If you want to have a look at the tutorial I followed, you can find it here.

Do you remember I was going to make some hot cross buns à la Paul Hollywood.  Well, I did and they turned out good enough to photograph as well as to eat.  The problem was, I followed the recipe in the T.V. Listings guide which was not exactly the same as the method or ingredients  he used in the actual programme.  So, at one time, I was a bit worried the dough wasn’t going to rise.  Also, by the time they were ready to go in the oven I had to leave to pick Mlle Tialys the elder up from the airport so I had to leave the cross application and baking to Mr. T.  They were rather gorgeous if I say so myself and I don’t think I’ll be able to go back to shop bought ones now.  I think the apple he uses definitely makes them softer even though I was a bit panicked about the amount of apple when I was mixing the dough.

My HotCrossBuns 2013

Flushed with success, I made some scones too – here displayed on one of my vintage cake stands before they were demolished.

scones

Two new addictions I have are retro 1930s, 1940s design fabric and hexagons.  I bought some pre-cut fabric hexagons and some pre-cut cards for paper piecing and now I have something portable to sew that I can take downstairs and do whilst chatting with the family, watching t.v., etc. which makes a change from closeting myself upstairs in my workroom when I am sewing anything.  This has taken the place of crochet roses which, sadly, do not seem to be multiplying and are lying sadly neglected somewhere – I can’t even remember where I’ve put them.  I don’t know what I’m going to do with all these hexies when I’ve finished but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

fabric hexagons

Somebody asked me to make one of my throws with a patchwork top using Liberty tana lawns and, although I don’t usually do this as there is too much work involved in patchwork to recoup the hours spent in making one, in my opinion, I agreed this time as it has no batting and I very simply hand-tied it so it wasn’t too arduous.   I think it turned out quite well but, to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with lovely Liberty.Liberty Patchwork (1)

I’m very excited because there are two ‘births’ on the horizon and I love making a quilt for a baby – a good, manageable size!  One will be in the summer and the father is a friend of Mr. Tialys mostly but I went to their wedding and I need no further excuse.  The other will be in October and the future mum is my goddaughter, Hannah, so I am very excited about that and am waiting for her next scan to see if she reveals ‘girl or boy’ before I choose the fabrics.

Mr. T has also been busy and in his own version of my ‘excuses not to do the housework’ which I call ‘excuses not to clear out the shed’ he decided to build a pond in our garden to encourage toads and wildlife.  This was no mean feat as our garden consists mostly of a very steep, occasionally terraced, stony terrain with lots of bedrock.  Still, I think he has done a good job and, when it is planted up will be lovely to sit by in the summer once the fig tree is in leaf and shades it a little and the solar powered waterfall is making the lovely trickly water sound.  I can just see myself dozing by the side of it whilst pretending to read a book.

DSC_0020We have put a few small fish in there who, after the first 5 minutes, have never been seen again.  This may have something to do with the fact that, as soon as one of our dogs saw the pond, he thought it must be his personal bathing spot and plunged in.  We might have to think about a small barrier…..

TazTaz.  I know he’s plain but we love him still.

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Buttons, Bunnies, Buns and the BBC

When I go rummaging and foraging in dusty corners of junk shops, one of my most favourite things is finding an interesting looking box or tin.  The anticipation of opening it to see if there is anything inside is delicious.  Yesterday, I was on such a rummage and found this tin which, in itself, is a bit gorgeous.

vintage tinIt had a label on top saying ‘boite et boutons’ so I knew there were going to be a few old button inside but it was full to the brim, sorted into bags by colour and some of them are pretty unusual.  I’m not yet that brilliant with the macro lens yet, mainly because I am too lazy to set the tripod up,  but here is a small selection of what was inside. WARNING: zoom down a bit if you’re not interested in vintage buttons or dodgy macro photography.  Just saying.

DSC_0007vintage buttons DSC_0010 DSC_0014 DSC_0017 DSC_0023 DSC_0025

You can’t really blame Pandora for causing so much trouble can you?

I’ve got bunny fever again – must be the time of year – and here are a couple of new additions to the ever increasing bunny bento family – well, that’s rabbits for you.

whitebentobunny (2)

I actually found a local source yesterday for vaguely reasonably priced (well, it is France!) coloured linen and I’ve bought some in a soft grey which I think will be lovely for a bunny.  I have added it to the projects list.

Bluebunnybento (3)

I love hot cross buns and Mr. T. obligingly goes into Waitrose when he is in the U.K. and brings back supplies so we can keep up with the tradition of  slathering butter onto hot buns (ooer missus) and gorging on this Easter treat for a couple of days.  Funny, I don’t put much, if any,  butter on bread or toast but huge amounts of it are necessary for hot cross buns and jacket potatoes.  Anyway, inspired by the Great British Bake Off spin off for Easter, I’m going to slavishly follow the lovely Paul Hollywood’s recipe for hot cross buns.  I like the fact that they look all puffy and soft as the shop bought ones are usually a little flat.  Wish me luck with the piping bag when I add the crosses as I am usually not to be trusted with this kitchen tool that seems to behave perfectly well in anybody else’s hands but behaves like a demented serpent when I give it a go.

Paul Hollywoodand back to the buns…….

hot cross bunsIf mine turn out looking something (anything) like this, I’ll take a photo, if not I won’t.  Thank you BBC for the programme (the photos!) and the recipe which, if you want to give it a go, you can find here.

Thank you also BBC for the return of Dr. Who this Saturday.  The Doctor has obviously finished his work experience stint with Mr. Bricolage (see here if you are confused) and has returned to South London (mostly) to keep the Earth safe for us all.

Even better!  For those of us who love cooking AND sewing.  The Great British Sewing Bee is starting on BBC2 on Tuesday.  A sewing programme!!!  I will be interested to see what equipment the contestants will be given.  The bakers in The Great British Bake Off  had their own Smeg fridge, Neff oven and KitchenAid mixer – each had a different coloured one.  Will there be Husqvarnas or Berninas in tasteful pastel shades or what?  I can’t wait.  My life is now complete.

Madamoiselle Tialys the elder is back from Uni for the Easter break so I will be otherwise engaged listening to tales of student life and struggling to be ‘cool’ about it all and resisting the urge to send her to her room if she lets a swear word slip.  Whatever you are up to – have a great break. x

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