Sunday, October 28, 2012

In a Frenchy mood

I've been in a bit of a Francophile mood lately, probably due to the resumption of French lessons (via audio on my half an hour daily commute to work, which is working brilliantly). So this weekend I thought I'd give Macaron's a go. I've been meaning to try them for a while, but like many others have been scared off by their delicacy and complexity - they're regularly used as a final challenge in cooking reality TV Shows. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. . .so. . .

They have a lemon zest flavoured shell with a lemon curd filling. This is what they ideally look like:

Overall I was pretty pleased with my first go, especially as every recipe I've seen has emphasised that it's very unlikely you'll get them perfect first time! Mine were a little undercooked and the shell's definitely show my lack of piping skills. But they taste like they supposed too and I learnt lots, so I'm looking forward to next time!

If anyone else wants to give it a go I used PastryPal's excellent downloadable e-book (free) and Alison Thompson's book 'Macaron'

That's all for now,


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

IHSW October!

I totally almost nearly forgot to post this, so forgive me for my lateness. Am I the only one whose reaction to October is 'nooooooo, not alreeeaddddyyy?' I really have no idea where this year has gone.

I got a bit of stitching in on the Iris over the weekend. Just filling in more gaps! It is getting there slowly, though I'll need to take another break from it soon to get in some Christmas stitching. At this rate I might have it done for next mother's day . . . . only a year late!

This photo is actually fairly accurate with colour. It's turning out a little blue-er than I expected, but it still looks nice and cohesive and Iris-like, so that's ok!

Hope all of the rest of you ladies had a sucessful IHSW,


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Christmas is that close?!?

It's ok really, I hadn't actually forgotten. In fact I just finished a Christmasy project (no Joysze it really wasn't boxers!). It's hubby's first Christmas in New Zealand with my family, so just so he matches the rest of us I thought I better make him a stocking.

I think we did quite well picking Christmassy but not to unmanly fabrics! Aren't those deer cute?

Not much stitching going on at the moment. . . I need that to change quick smart though so I can get some Christmas stitching done. Luckily it's IHSW October and a long weekend for us this weekend, so fingers crossed for some work on Iris (and maybe a new start). In other crafty news I just started a dressmaking course, so at the end of the next 7 weeks I should have a beautiful dress (fingers crossed on that one too).

That's all for now!


Monday, October 1, 2012

Finally! A Finish!

It feel's like so long since I've had a cross stitch finish! Here is Lizzie Kate's 'A Good Marriage.' I stitched it with the threads provided (Crescent Colours, Gentle Arts Sampler & DMC) on 32ct Permin Lambswool Linen. I charted up hubby and I's names to put at the bottom - this isn't our marriage sampler (my lovely mother-in-law has that in hand), but considering the piece is special to us because it was a reading at both our weddings I couldn't stop myself from making it a bit unique!

Now I just have to get it framed quick smart! For some motivation to get it finished I've entered it in my home town's annual Agricultural and Pastoral show (in the home industries pavillion) at the end of the month!