Monday, 17 March 2014

Stress induced baking…

… and other cooking activities.

Sometimes, I can’t really understand, explain why a sudden rush of stress swamps me.  I can’t find any rational reason for this.  Not everything is rosy in my life, but things are far from bad:  Alice has been offered a place in all the UK universities she applied to, Victor is making good progress and working hard toward his GCSEs, Juliette is doing well at school, especially in Mandarin, Philippe seems to be happy at work…  So why do I wake up in the middle of the night, heart racing, sweat in my neck… careful to the first person who mentions my age! :-)

Do you want to know how I deal with this? I BAKE, I COOK… I know I should probably go exercise, it might be more beneficial!

Stressfull week

Veggie Risotto (from my Red&Black homemade recipe book)

Stressfull week1

Stuffed Portobello mushrooms (seen these big mushrooms many times, I had to try and cook something with them –
I might take the time to write a recipe)

Stressfull week2

Baked cod with chorizo and tomatoes (Improvised recipe, done many version of this over time)

Stressfull week3

Coffee beans biscotti (Recipe from my R&B homemade recipes book)

Stressfull week4

Roasted tomatoes, ricotta and basil tart (Recipe from my homemade recipes book)

Stressfull week5

and for Pie day – Raspberry and poppy seeds pie (recipe from this blog: A Beautiful Mess) with soggy bottom

If or when I find the time, I might write all these recipes and share them here.  In the meantime, I’m counting the days until my big kids arrive.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

I caught in a new bug

Last year I tried ceramic, pottery.  I enjoyed but I also realised that it will take a long time and a lot of practice before I can produce anything good.  I haven’t given up on the idea yet, but for the moment I haven’t found the opportunity to try again.

But, I found something else to try out: making jewels, playing with beads and wire… and NO it is not a kid’s activity, there’s some real skills into it.

I first started with a Wiring workshop, and produce this little bracelet.

Glass and wire bracelet

Then came the second workshop, Knotting.  That was fun, easy and fast… Oh so fast.  First produce a long, very long, outrageously long necklace with multifaceted beads and pearls.  Then I knotted a very simple, a bit traditional necklace (no picture, I think I’m going to redo it).

Knotted green pearls

And finally another long necklace with matching earing with some wiring (love the little loop on the earing).

Turquoise knotting

I enjoyed it so much that I could not stop at one or two workshops, I went to a third one.  This time bead weaving.  It took some practice and concentration to produce this bracelet.  There are a couple of imperfections, but I have plan to make another one.

Blossom bracelet

And you know what was the best thing about this new activity: I get to go and share this time with my friend and meet other likeminded people.  There will be more to come.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Oh so simple…

I almost kept my resolution to not start any new project for 2 weeks!  A big clap to me…  OK, not exactly, I did start a few things, but I will come back to this later.

I finished Mon Jules and a pair of socks (how do you take good pictures of socks?).  So I rewarded myself with a new project.  The Trendy chale: a very simple shawl… garter stitches all the way…  The tuto can be found there, it is in French but it couldn’t be easier:

  • Cast on 3 stitches
  • Knit every row increasing as follow:
  • Row 1, increase 1 stitch before the last stitch = 4 stitches on the needle
  • Row 2, repeat 1 = 5 stitches
  • Row 3 and after, increase 1 stitch before the last 2 stitches.  I’ve read this recommendation in another French blog (Une souris dans mon dressing – you should take some time to visit Anaik’s blog, I really like her dress sense)
  • Knit and knit until the shawl is to the desired size, cast off.

Trendy chale

I knitted with Lace Sequin from Paton, it has a light blue-purple-ish hue with some sequins to add a bit of sparkle.  I worked with needles size 5.5 mm, the shawl ends up very squishy and light.  And for a bit more of interest, I added a picot around the edge.


Et voilĂ , Oh so simple, Oh so fast… and so satisfying!