Thursday, 30 June 2011

My latest fabric swatches

This week I've had a Spoonflower delivery with my latest fabric design swatches.
I have a revised version of the butterfly fabric as shown on the blog before and there are 2 fat quarters listed in my Folksy shop.

Brand new is my vintage ice cream van fabric, not yet available as this is just the swatch before I decide to order any more. Pleased with how the colours have come out.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Morrissey at Grimsby Auditorium

Yesterday was all rather frantic. We had the chance of some Morrissey tickets to go to that evening and I'm not usually good at short notice things but as Mozza is a hero of mine I went for it.

The gig was over in Grimsby which meant a trip over the Humber Bridge. This is where the photos stopped as I didn't have a good enough view to get what I suppose would've been blurry and rubbishy shots. 
The support group were not exactly to my liking, a bit too heavy thrash metal with what can only be described as a young lad screaming into the microphone and every song sounded pretty much the same. Normally I'd say, maybe it's a sign of my old age but I didn't see many of the Morrissey crowd looking like they were enjoying the group. A strange choice to go with Mozza.

So after the ear drums got a good battering I was rather looking forward to the tuneful songs of Morrissey. First track didn't sound brilliant but I figured they were settling in, as it went on I realised the sound quality of the Grimsby Auditorium was quite poor. When I saw Mozza a couple of years ago at Brid Spa the sound was much better in there. It was a bit disappointing in a way but then in other ways Morrissey is such a legend that I feel happy to have been in his presence for an hour and a half (almost). 

The most dramatic part was when they played Meat is Murder, they ran a most shocking video in the background and the music rose to a deafening crescendo to represent the suffering of poultry and cattle in the film footage. I have to say that even as a veggie I was very moved, shocked and disturbed by it. I only hope it had some effect on making the meat eaters question the animal welfare of the products they buy. It left a strange atmosphere after this track which was last but one, and the lack of clapping made me question if some people were disgusted he thrust this upon us, but then you go to a Morrissey concert and you go and listen to someone who's got something to say.

The last track was Irish Blood, English Heart which I love & lifted spirits a bit. They came back for just one encore which was much less than when I saw him in Brid, the encore was This Charming Man and that was it, over in a flash.

The venue and sound let it down for me, not sure I felt like I'd had my moneys worth this time. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Last minute trip to see Morrissey

Wow, got some last min tickets for Morrissey.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Summer BBQ!

I seem to have gone a bit mad with the blogging today. I think it's because of the heatwave and not liking it too hot I decided to take cover and work inside on the Mac in the afternoon. 
This warm weekend could well be summer, all rolled into 48 hrs, so I finished off the day with a quickie BBQ and got the veggie burgers and sausages out.

I have a lovely little kettle BBQ somewhere, no doubt in a storage box and unlikely to rear its head until I move house again so I got one of those disposable ones. I was surprised how quickly it took hold and it all happened in less than half an hour, including the eating! Despite those burnt looking sausages! Finished off with jacket potatoes on the embers, after all, this little BBQ is hotter than the oven at the moment!

Mollie Makes issue 2

I've had the second issue of Mollie Makes for a couple of weeks now and I'm just as pleased with it as the first issue. This is such a fantastic magazine, I'm still flicking through the first issue and finding inspiration. They really are magazines to keep and refer to with lovely 'makes' to keep going back to.

I've gone a bit mad making the strawberry pincushions and I have really enjoyed the feature on Charlotte Lyons so I've had a go at embroidering a few flowers and I might turn this into a purse.

Issue 3 has gone to print so I can't wait for that in the first week in July.

Nice vintage fabric

Here's some nice vintage fabric. The first picture shows a couple of pieces I received in the post yesterday from Donna Flower. The polka dot flowers is a piece of vintage feedsack and the small flower print is some 1940's cotton, both lovely quality.

The other pictures were taken through an interior shop window in Driffield. This particular shop always do a lovely window display and usually feature bang on trend fabrics and wallpaper. I do wonder if they sell much as 1. the stock is expensive and 2. it's all very stylish and is Driffield quite the place for such a shop. Maybe York would be better, but then of course the rates would be huge in comparison.

Anyway the current display features designs I love, they are reproduction Festival of Britain designs from the 50's but they are soooo expensive, I think a metre of fabric is about £40 so I'll have to just admire my photos instead of purchasing any.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Habitat - end of an era

I was sorry to hear in the news yesterday that Habitat has gone bust although I believe the name will live on in 3 London stores.
So just 2 years after one of my other favourite stores, Woolworths, has left our high streets, Habitat is more or less set to do the same.

I have fond memories of Habitat in the late 70's, the store in Hull was great. It was where Argos now resides in the old town, it was pretty big and had a fantastic wholefood cafe, one of the few Habitats to do a cafe back then. Time moved on to the early 80's when I was at college buying the odd thing for my student bedsit in Leeds, not that I could afford much but I'd buy the odd lamp shade and could never resist the stationery. In the 90's when I got my first property the Hull store had well and truly closed and it was the York store which became my local. It was such fun to start buying things for my first home, pots, rugs, candles, lamps, and still lots of stationery! But then Ikea came along and I started to find similar stuff but cheaper and I bought less from Habitat, just the odd iconic bit of pottery generally with a groovy design and they didn't seem to do fabric anymore which was a shame. 
I think over the last few years there has been some real tat in Habitat but still quite expensive. I usually have a look in though as you will still find some well designed items.

Today, as I was in Harrogate, I visited their store to look for bargains but they don't appear to have started reducing prices yet. I wanted to get a few ceramics for my collection incase I miss the opportunity. I got the groovy patterned pots below, pictures 4 & 5 were designs I was keen to get a souvenir of. These pots are designed by Concetta Gallo, I love the whimsical, surreal and almost textile collage quality of these designs. The peacock planter below is another iconic design motif although I don't know who created that.

One day when I have my own kitchen again I will enjoy displaying and using my remaining Habitat pots and remember 'my' stores with fondness.

Yum yum!

I had hoped to visit Woolfest but it didn't happen. All week I had been checking laterooms website to see if I could snaffle a cheap overnight stay in Carlisle or Penrith in order to visit the festival today but there were no cheap rooms.

So a last minute trip to Harrogate was the next best thing and of course a visit to Bean and Bud for some deliciously lush lemon drizzle cake and a cup of the new guest coffee, a Limini blend called Liscio which was very lovely,  a sweet soft coffee with no bitterness. It's a blend of Brazil, Costa Rica & Indonesia.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Black garlic update - Day 21

I meant to do this post yesterday as I'm now half way through the experiment and I'm not feeling confident about the garlic fermenting.
As I mentioned before the oven is a bit dodgy to say the least, I went and bought an oven thermometer the other day seeing as the gauge is unreadable on the Aga. I know the thing needs a service as the temperature is down but I was disappointed to find it is cooler than I thought. The compartment the garlic is in is just about 50 degrees C and the experiment requires 60 - 70 degrees so this has probably ruined it.
I may as well stick it out now but I'm wondering what will emerge, if it hasn't fermented and stayed firm, will it be a soggy goo of mush. Call back in 19 days to see!

I've since used the thermometer to check the hottest, roasting oven compartment and it is just 120 degrees C, barely above boiling so no wonder I can't cook pastry anymore! It's a bit of a struggle cooking so the diet tends to change to soups, stews, pasta and salads on the run up to a service. I can't wait to let rip in a few weeks and enjoy a jacket potato or a Quorn sausage roll, gosh I'm such a rebel!!

Happy Summer Solstice!

I have to say that in my part of East Yorkshire it can hardly be described as 'summery' today. It is grey, cloudy and has already chucked it down, ....the sun appeared for about 5 mins! 
The brightest thing I've seen today is Googles cute illustration by a Japanese artist.

It seems the last few years have all been poor weather days for this our longest day of the year, what a shame as I know by the weekend I'll be saying those depressing words... 'the nights are taking off again'.! Hope summer comes back soon and hope the day is brighter where you are.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Networking tea party

I've been to another enjoyable networking event tonight with our ladies business group, good to catch up with friends and meet some new faces.
Tonight we were in Beverley and had a vintage themed tea party with cakes, courtesy of Miss Poppy's Tea Party which is situated within Gartons florists. It's a really lovely shop with flowers of course, some snazzy & retro gifts and the tea party area is in the basement.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Ribbons & trims from Clothkits

It's always exciting to receive a Clothkits parcel and yesterday morning I ordered some ribbons and trim and it's just arrived, great service or what!
I had been looking for some of the tape measure ribbon for quite a while as I think I have a plan for it and when I was browsing their ribbon section I couldn't resist a few bits of the beautiful woven ribbons they have. The quality is just lovely.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Lemony, blueberry cakes

Been full of cold last couple of days so not felt like doing anything much and then I realised there were some blueberries about to waste away in the fridge so I rustled up one of the quick cupcake recipes in the vegan book. Lemony, blueberry cupcakes which are lovely and even better if you bother to make the lemony buttercream frosting to top them with.

I haven't used this book for a while but my favourite cupcakes are the peanut butter ones, last but one photo. And the bottom photo shows green tea cupcakes with green tea glaze and almond flowers which I think sound fab so I must make these next time I have some green tea.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

New visitor

Was just getting my breakfast this morning when I saw something brown outside, ... how exciting it was a deer on the grass opposite. I got my camera but it's tricky taking pictures from such a distance inside and especially when the windows need cleaning so I got the rubbishy pictures below and then enjoyed watching it for a few minutes as it pottered about and nibbled some roses.
It was a lovely rich, velvety, chocolate brown deer, looked quite small to me. Just before it disappeared into the bushes, mr & mrs rabbit came out for a look, they looked as surprised as me with this new visitor!

Monday, 13 June 2011

Lots of coffee!

Recently took out a subscription for coffee beans from James Gourmet coffee who roast twice a week and post out your beans once a month. The problem was, you tend to go mad with the beans when they arrive and then find yourself with nothing for about a week until the next parcel. Anyway decided to stock up with a couple of Has Bean bags to fill that gap and wouldn't you know it the subscription has come earlier than usual and consequently there's a glut of coffee!
Anyone fancy a brew!

Good excuse to practise my latte art tonight.