Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Looking into the Abyss

Looking into the abyss or should it be down the rabbit hole of the joy that is baking from Bronte Aurell’s new book Bronte at Home. 

Previously, I baked my through her book Fyke & Hygge and am not sure that I will bake everything in her new book, although, there are many delicious looking recipes and I do love a challenge. My progress so far.

Lemon and Blueberry Bundt, made in a vintage tin from Lily Pond

Made into a series of mini bundt cakes

Danish Dream Cake, oh yes it really is!

Finnish Biscuits, these maybe a contender for Christmas shortbreads.

Birthday Buns, a repeat recipe.

Swedish Scones

Banana Rye Bread

Toffee Biscuit Slices

Saturday, 2 November 2019

Buried Treasure

A few months ago I started an online class with India Flint. I have admired her work for a long time. Quite a few years ago I purchased a number of her books and took the plunge and started using the techniques in the books to eco dye and make botanical contact prints. Having not been in a position to undertake one of her week long classes I thought that I would give her online class a go. Anyway, I have been dipping in and out of the course. 

This little book is one of activities in the class. Constructed of many pages of stitched paper and fabric with a wrap around cover. The idea was to take the little book wrap it in a cloth and then bury it for a few months. It was white when it went in the ground a few months ago. 

What did I discover? Amazingly the book was still intact and it had developed a a lot of colour. The string broke into small pieces as I unwrapped the bundle, the outer cloth had also started to disintegrate.

The damask cloth on the outside cover has taken on lots of colour.

A few pages

Some have fared better than others

The rusted metal pieces have  worked really well

Interesting to see how different fabrics have reacted 

Some of the leaves could be removed easily

The fragility of the disintegrating  outer cloth. It really was a surprise to unearth my buried treasure.

Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Pasta with Broccoli Pesto

Another of my Meatless Monday offerings. This dish is very easy and quick to make particularly with a food processor. The very short cooking time for the broccoli and the chopped parsley keeps it tasting fresh while the walnuts add texture. With a bit of organisation it can be ready to eat in the time it takes to cook the pasta. It can be easily adapted to include traditional Parmesan or some meat for non vegans.

 This version is vegan, 

This has vegan Parmesan added, if not for vegans you could use traditional Parmesan. If you are not concerned with keeping it vegan or vegetarian add some crispy bacon, prosciutto or chorizo.

This is what the broccoli looks like when finely chopped and added to the onion.

Add pasta

And remaining ingredients and a little of the pasta cooking water if necessary.

Pasta with Broccoli Pesto

Pasta approx 250 g or enough for four
1 large head of broccoli, washed and finely chopped in food processor
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or more if desired.
A generous pinch of chilli flakes
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon of salt or more to taste
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper or more to taste

1/2 cup grated parmesan or vegan parmesan
extra parmesan to serve


Put a large pot of water on to boil and add salt. Cook spaghetti until al dente. Use time guide on packet.

Put a little oil in a pan, add onion and allow the onions to soften slightly but not colour. Add garlic and broccoli and cook for a minute or two.

 Add cooked pasta, and toss to coat the spaghetti, add a little of the cooking water if the sauce is too dry.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Check flavour, it may need a little more salt. If using parmesan add to the mixture

Serve with additional vegan parmesan / parmesan cheese.

Monday, 14 October 2019

Think Inside the Box - Concept to Product

The workshop with Shelley Rhodes is over and I have flown home.  It was a great week away, the workshop was fabulous - lots to consider and busy. With papers and fabrics to prepare, boxes to be made and altered, the contents of the boxes to be considered and curated, it was a busy week.

My final product, a series of books, scrolls, both paper and fabric and my collection of heart shaped rocks, shells and coral piece from my recent trip to the Kimberley and Broome. 

Each group is asked to produce an item for auction on the last night. A light hearted event that raises money for the scholarship fund. Our group decided that we would each make a large tag/bookmark.

This is the one that I made.

We also made a small matchbox that formed a small group display.

This is mine, a collection that I referred to as  Bits from Broome

Although not part of the class I made these orbs, always a pleasure to learn a new skill from another participant.

And this card on behalf of the class. A small square from each of us and space for Shelley to add one of hers.

A little bit of fun. Each day Shelley gave us a quote and was known to say just one more thing as she added another technique or idea to our repertoire.

Some close ups of each  of the pieces in my collection. This box contains a book, three small scrolls and a selection of the heart shaped rocks.

This box contains a fabricscroll and three small concertina fold books.

This box contains a large concertina book that when unfolded is more than one metre long.

One of six small collages, each approximately five centimetres square.

And another.

Unusually, I had two friends in the class. This is Lariane’s work

And this is Gillian’s.

I began each day with a walk to a coffee shop, taking a slightly different route each time. On one of the days I came across this yellow climbing rose that covered a a pergola and carport. It brought back so many memories, my mother had one of these growing on a side fence.

These metal sculptures of a young girl called Marion were to be found along the historic walk around Marion.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Take a Peek

I thought you might like a little peek at what has been happening in my workshop.  The first two days Shelley had us preparing our papers and fabrics. The class is called Think Inside the Box, we were asked to bring a collection of objects and boxes that we would like to work with.

I collected a number of vaguely heart shaped stones, shells and leaves on a recent trip to the Kimberley and Broome.

We used our collections to create a colour palette 

And by looking closely at the objects to make drawings of parts of the objects

These drawings were also a starting point for making some simple blocks

We made some of tools for mark making

The beginning of a sheet of paper, several pieces joined, gessoed and coloured with a wash of coffee

Building up the layers with pastel, pencil, paint, stamps, text

Some inspiration of Shelley

And the book that made me want to do a workshop with her