Thursday, 30 April 2009

And the winner is...

Thank you all so much for entering my 1 Year Giveaway and saying such lovely things about the kits.

But there can only be one winner and that is...drum roll please...

Jane from Janie C. A Flower Brooch Kit is on it's way to you. (Please send me your mailing address) And if you don't mind, please send me a photo of how it turns out (unless you are giving it as a present of course)

Go get your lemons!

Thank you for being patient waiting for this recipe. I think you'll be pleased with the wait. And with a Sunny (?) Bank Holiday Weekend on the horizon I will picture you all picnicking in the sunshine with your homemade bread rolls, freshly churned butter and Lemon Curd atop!


LEMON CURD
(Microwave Method)

rind of 3 lemons, finely grated
3/4 cup lemon juice (from about 3 large lemons)
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1 cup caster sugar
3 whole eggs

Have ready 2 washed and rinsed 8oz jars.

2 hours in advance leave the rind to soak int he lemon juice in a large microwave-saffe jug, to extract the flavouring oils. Pour this mixture through a sieve, then discard the rind.

In the same jug melt the butter at 100% power for 1 minute (cover lightly with a paper towel to prevent splattering). Stir in the lemon juice and sugar and cook uncovered on 100% power for 2 minutes. Then stir again to ensure that the sugar is dissolved in the liquid.

In a food processor or blender, process the eggs to blend for 10 seconds, then slowly add the hot buttery liquid throught he feed tube, processing all the time. Return the mixture to the jug and microwave on 100% power for 2 1/2 minutes, stirring half-way.

Take out and stir vigorously to ensure the curd is even in texture - it should be the consistency of a thick coating custard. If not, cook for a further 30 seconds.

Sterilize the jars as follows. Fill them a 1/4 full with cold water and heat uncovered on 100% power for about 2 minutes - until the water is boiling. Remove carefully as they will be very hot and pour away the water. Stand upside down to drain on a paper towel. Turn them over immediately and fill to the brim with the curd, then cover with a lid.

Store up to 3 months in a fridge.

Enjoy xx

(Thanks to Evelyn Rose for the recipe)

Monday, 27 April 2009

Snapdragon

I first met Jane at Top Drawer in January and instantly fell in love with her beautiful work. It is stunning. I was desperate then to get my hands on her things for Blueberry Park. So when our paths crossed again at BCTF I was determind to order some things.

Today the order arrived and boy are they fab. I was very restraint (mainly because I've blown my buying budget for now, but hey, a girl has to buy what a girl has to buy) but seeing the little Pocket Mirrors is definitely a case of Less is More.

I couldn't decide between these 3 designs, so you guessed it, I went for all 3!

I'm sure I'll be adding to the collection, but in the meantime you can choose one of these little lovelies for yourself (or a gift, if you are feeling nice). They are in the shop now.

(P.S. Don't forget... Just 3 more days to enter my 1 Year Giveaway...xx)

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Fabric for Sale

I've been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this gorgeous fabric, designed and produced by the talented Martine of Green Olive Textiles. I'm not sure if I mentioned that I've started a Fabric Category on Blueberry Park, in order to bring you lots of fantastic handmade fabrics to enhance all our crafting projects.

This design, aptly named 'My Bike' was screenprinted from a drawing Martine had done when she was a child. Her very clever and forward thinking Mummy saved the drawing and voila, a fantastic fabric was produced.

This is one of the first designs to land in the shop and is absolutely gorgeous. I so want to use it all up myself. I have started with 5 of each colourways, so if you are keen you'll need to be quick!
Go straight here.

PIP - Purse in Progress

Matthew is in Milan for the weekend with his 2 old Uni pals. It's actually the first time he's been on a boys weekend - not counting stag weekends and the like. I was quite keen for him to organise this trip as it's almost time for Perpignan revisited. You may remember I went off with the girls last September. Well we are now planning Perp 2 and to save the guilt of abandoning the family again I needed Matthew to have had his weekend off too.


All very interesting, you may think, but where on earth is this leading? To a guiltless evening's sewing of course! I work in the attic alot in the evenings. If it's to fulfill orders then there is no choice. The job has to be done. If it is simply playing around with fabric then I try and do that on an evening when Matthew is either out or working himself. He hates to feel neglected - poor lamb.


So last night I had one such evening. Matthew away. Kids all in bed (albeit 9pm by this point) and just me, my fabric, a glass of wine and music for company.

A few weeks ago when I last had the opportunity I'd been sewing together some of my gorgeous bits of cut-offs. It had been sitting in a corner waiting for time to turn it into something. Last night was the night and it happily turned in to this purse.

Now because I always start off with whatever size pieces I have, I never really have in mind what I am going to do. (Mental Note - must start being more planned) So when these pieces were joined together, whilst I was thrilled with the combinations I wasn't entirely sure what it was going to become. A purse, pencil case, make-up bag? Well in all honesty, it doesn't really matter. It could be any of the above or something entirely different.

One little extra detail I'm quite pleased with (Mental Note Number 2 - make items versatile) was to attach not one but 2 buttons, to make it adaptable. I was quite pleased with that one. In fact tonight, when he's still away I'll be up there again refining what I did and ironing out the little glitches in the design.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Saints & Pinners

I had a great new discovery at the beginning of the week and by the end of the week I have proof that it wasn't a mirage.

Saints and Pinners is a new online fabric store run by Fran and Jo, a mother and daughter-in-law team. How amazing that you should have this mutual passion with your mother-in-law that results in running such a dream together.

I'd conversed with Jo earlier in the week about swapping links to our sites and by the time I'd had a look through her lovely wares, several of them were clicked in to the basket.

Today this arrived...

Now I have to say that this is the most beautifully wrapped parcel I have ever received and I was very tempted to just sit and gaze at it in all it's glory all morning (by the way it is now creased tells you I broke into it a nano second later to see my treasures - and then had to rewrap it to take the photo!)

Now, isn't this a gorgeous mixture?


What's more, a year ago I would NEVER have chosen those oranges and yellows. But I love how my tastes have altered and organically grown out of doing more crafting and sewing.

I love these 3 orange based ones. How summery are they?


As for these yellows and blues - simply divine. I'm swooning now. I think this rose fabric is my favourite fabric at the moment. I think I'll be getting more of that one and making a few spring accessories.


This green dot (more limey that it shows here) is one of my favourite fabrics for doing my car cards. It looks great with turquoise. At the fear of running out, I quietly snuck it into the basket.


Since I was one of Fran and Jo's first customers, they very kindly threw this in too.


Now I probably would never have bought this fabric, but how gorgeous does it look with my beloved dots? (I really haven't done either of these two justice. You'll just have to believe me on this one.)


So go take a peak at the shop. You really won't be disappoinited.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

The Ins and Outs of Blueberry Park

Here are some of the Ins...



And here are some of the Outs (or almost Outs)...


It's a busy day.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

1 Year Giveaway!

I can't believe as of April 30th I will have been blogging for a year. It has flown by. And I have so enjoyed meeting so many of you lovely people out there.

To celebrate I am giving away one of my Take Away Craft Kits. Simply decide on your favourite by clicking here, here, here, here, here and here! Then leave a comment to let me know which is your fave.

I'll be picking a name out at random after 5pm on April 30th and let you know the lucky winner.

Be lucky :-)

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Easter Break

Well that has been more of a break than I anticipated. But really should have been no surprise as it is impossible to have normality during the school holidays. And with more than the usual amount being crammed into this one, I really should have been prepared for no Blueberry Park/Blogspot/Crafting time. And boy am I eager for tomorrow 9am. Everyone back to school and me able to devote my days to everything right here. I need to make a start on fulfilling my new stockist orders which fills me with lots of excitement.

Don't get me wrong. We've had a really lovely time this holidays and had a real break which we all needed. We went out for dinner with my parents last night who thought we all looked very rested - which wasn't what they were saying about me the week before. And we had a fab fab time in Northumberland with our great friends.

(Views from the bottom of the garden)

But I'd left Leeds on a real high after the success of BCTF and am just desperate to get going on it and immerse myself in it. And I guess with the forced break I have renewed vigour to do so. I was pretty run down by the end of it.

(Quite an inspiring cricket pitch)

So lots to report over the next week. But just before I go I want to thank you all for your amazing support and congrats on the back of BCTF. It really means alot. x


(Ooh and I haven't forgotten to post the Lemon Curd Recipe btw for all those that requested it - it was delicious by the way and gobbled up by anyone who was quick enough to visit whilst there was still a scraping)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

BCTF over but not out

I need a badge making saying 'I attended BCTF...and survived'. What an experience the last 4 days have been. It was one of the most exhilarating, over-whelming, moral boosting, exhausting times of my life.

I met so many amazing talented people, who I will give more time and space to in the coming weeks and share some of the fantastic work that they produce. It was of course wonderful to have my partner in crime just around the corner. What was fun was realising that whoever liked her also liked me and vice versa.

As well as actually getting orders for new stockists, several other opportunites arose that had never entered my consciousness. One gallery want me to come teach some children's workshops. Another want to include me in an exhibition they are doing. Even an interiors stylist gave me her details and wants to 'talk'.

There is definitely alot going to be happening in my life as a consequence of doing BCTF and most of all the confidence to do so. I'm very excited about the future.

Friday, 3 April 2009

A welcome distraction

Well tomorrow is when life takes on a rollercoaster mentality for the next 8 days. BCTF is finally here and setting up day is tomorrow. No sooner is that over than Passover begins and there will be a cross-over of a couple of days of being in the midst of BCTF and getting ready for Passover.


As you can imagine my head is all over the place at the moment and I can't focus on anything for more than a few minutes (so nothing new there then :-))


I've been quite pleased to have a little distraction of making a few of my stamped cards for an order and for some up coming birthdays. There is something quite therapeutic and mind numbing (in a good way) of repeatedly putting these little stamps in the ink. The most concentration I need is making sure the correct letter goes in the correct colour ink. Otherwise it's start over again time. (which happens with a fair amount of regularity)


Hopefully I'll remember my camera at BCTF and I'll be able to report back on the whole experience. It may take a while. I think I'll be floored and out of touch for a while.


So Happy Easter and have a great holiday whatever you do. x

(This last card is obviously not one of my creations, but by the fabulous Rachel of Lollipop Designs and is available right here)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Domesticity

I'm having a bit of a Nigella week this week. It's Passover next week and so alot of food is needed. It all has to be specially prepared as we aren't allowed to eat any wheat (ie bread) amongst a WHOLE LOAD of other things.

One thing I love about Passover is making the time to make various traditional foods. No matter how busy I am (ha ha ha) I love getting ready and being a bit of a domestic goddess. Let's face it, if time wasn't an issue I'd spend all day creating (and eating).


One such traditional item is lemon curd. I have no idea why. (Mental note - must ask Mum) But it's such a pleasing thing to make that I don't know why we don't do it all year round. But I guess that also gives it it's specialness.

First off is getting out all my favourite kitchen items - my Nigella lemon juicer, my Nigella measuring cups, my gorgeous handmade pouring bowl bought on a trip one year to Norfolk and not forgetting my favourite kitchen gadget of all...my zester. If you don't have a zester, you must. It is a little miracle of an implement. Go buy one right now.

Every step of this process is sheer joy. The zest just slips off the lemon so smoothly and easily. Followed by the ease of squeezing the lemons with the Nigella juicer. And not only is the recipe itself easy peasy, but it's all so easy on the eye. Even the messy bits.


A little coffee break was needed (hardship) whilst the zest infused into the juice.


The rest was as simple as 1, 2, 3. A microwave (yes, I know), a liquidiser and 2 sterilised jam jars and before you know it 2 scrumptious jars of homemade Lemon Curd. The hardest thing now is waiting until next week so we can eat it. Spread on Matzah. Delicious.

(If you'd like the recipe, just let me know and I'll email it to you x)