Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Baby quilt #2: Leonard

When cooking for vegan friends, I expect to have to work a bit harder to create a tasty meal. But I was surprised to find that the lovely Fiona and Laurie's veganism managed to inconvenience me when undertaking a task so seemingly innocent as making a baby quilt for their unborn child, Leonard. Quilts do not contain meat, dairy products or even honey, but you'd be amazed how many designs of children's fabric centre around a jolly farmer, farm animals or circus scene. I found it a bit strange, even creepy, despite being a carnivore myself. Anyway, I'm pleased to say that the quilt I made for Leonard features happy rabbits dancing with happy children, yellow chickadees and only the best free-range, disembodied panda heads.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Rob, in art form.

As it’s his birthday, it seems like a reasonable time to dedicate a blog to Rob. 

I have made a few attempts to capture Rob’s likeness. They tend to focus on two of his main features:
1)      Prominent eye lids 
2)      His having the misfortune of always appearing to have feint moustache, even when he has shaved, and despite having facial hair in few other places.

In the beginning, I painted an egg Rob. He became known as ‘Eggbert’. Eggbert was created early on in our relationship before I had properly processed the constant moustache but after I’d known him long enough to see a few shaving mishaps.

The second attempt saw Rob transformed into a Meercat, using green pen on whiteboard. Sadly I cannot be bothered to find a picture of the whiteboard.

I then became aware that Rob’s mii character needed the eyelid and moustache treatment, so I went to work on that.

I sketched this last one when I was bored. He had no idea I was drawing him as he was busy writing a list (one of his favourite pastimes). Happy Birthday Rob!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Easy Satay Stir Fry

This is a deceptive dish that punches above its weight considering how easy it is to make and how likely it is that you already have the basic ingredients in your cupboard. Err, I mean, I’m an awesome cook and you can never hope to attain my greatness.


N.B Apologies for the photos, it's v. hard to take good food pics!

Meat and/or Vegetables (enough for the number of people you are feeding)

2 dessert spoons of Peanut Butter (smooth ideally)
2 dessert spoons of  Honey
2 dessert spoons of  Soy Sauce
A Couple of cloves of Garlic
Fresh Ginger grated (optional)
Half a stock cube (optional)

Serve with Rice or Noodles

1)    Chop Meat and/or vegetables
2)    Prepare your sauce: Take one mug, put sauce ingredients in it. Add enough boiling water to fill the mug. Use a fork to stir until you’ve broken up the peanut butter and formed a paste and it looks like a mug of coffee or strong tea.
3)    Fry meat and then add the veggies, stir fry for a few minutes
4)     Add the sauce (take care not to add any nearby cups of tea)
5)     Cook for a bit (for those who need precise instructions I’ll arbitrarily suggest “3 minutes”), until the sauce has thickened.
6)    Combine your satay stir fry with rice or noodles, if you’ve reached the end of the recipe without realising that you should have cooked either of these, I recommend microwave rice or straight-to-wok noodles :D
7)     Put the food into your face

Sunday, 25 September 2011


We first met Dudley about a year ago. He was hanging around our block of flats, making friends with everyone he saw and inviting himself to their homes to drink water (straight from the tap) and sleep.  Dudley had a certain charm to him, despite being ginger, and he was persistent; if Dudley decides he’s coming in, he is coming in!

After several months of Dudley (Dudders, Dudmeister, His Dudesty) coming to the flat at every available opportunity, the neighbours in the block got talking about him. “Where does he come from?” “Is he homeless?” “Should we call the relevant authorities?”

We were inclined to suggest that he live with us, but we decided to do the responsible thing and find out the real story about Dudley before taking such a bold step. At first he was reluctant to go, but in the end we got him into the car and we were on our way over to West Oxford to uncover the truth.

The truth is that Dudley is an incredibly fluffy cat called ‘Ginger’ who belongs to a celebrity chef and cookery writer called Sophie, who lives nearby. Sophie said that Dudley likes to have lots of friends to visit and kindly allowed us to keep having him over to visit but ‘please don’t feed him’.

So nowadays we see him more as a friend who comes over and struts around the flat, desperately longing to be taken seriously but generally failing on account of his being inexplicably fluffy.

Here’s my picture of Dudley which I did using a lot of orange pastels.

Friday, 23 September 2011

My first baby quilt

A few weeks ago, I completed my first ever quilt. I made it for a freind whose baby is due in a few weeks' time. She told me that the baby's nursery is decorated in yellow and green so I made the quilt in those colours.

My boyfriend Rob said that I was almost dribbling with glee as everyone admired the quilt at the baby shower. I deny everything, I am extremely modest (as evidenced by the fact I've posted pictures of the quilt here where anyone in the world with access to the internet can see it).

If you're interested in how to make one the same, here's the first of the 4 videos I followed to make the quilt:

part 2: http://youtu.be/MjPaLYcrJ24
part 3: http://youtu.be/x2akVq9m2NE
part 4: http://youtu.be/6Pmy-MlV9I0

Annoyingly, in a selfish attempt to promote her probably awesome quilting business, 'Jenny' (if that is her real name) uses an industrial machine to do the actual quilting bit (which is where, once you've assembled the top, the padding and the backing, you sew right through and all over to hold it together) but there are other videos which show you how to machine quilt. I followed this technique, where you just stich over the existing seams: http://youtu.be/Dt0Zq-DBBkI

Though a novice myself, I would happily answer any questions anyone has if they want to attempt such a feat. TTFN.